Simon Cocking – Irish Tech News
Irish Agtech company ApisProtect is using IoT technology to monitor the health of honey bees worldwide.
Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy, CEO of ApisProtect, an Irish Agtech innovator using the Internet of Things (IoT) to monitor honey bee colonies highlights the importance of protecting honey bees “In many countries, up to 50% of our honey bees are dying every year. A host of problems, diseases, and pests are devastating hive populations around the globe. It’s becoming harder and harder every year for beekeepers to manage the variety of problems their bees are experiencing.”
However, many countries are experiencing extensive honey bee loses, in the U.S., commercial beekeepers reported declines of 38 percent of colonies in 2015-2016. In Ireland alone, we have 98 different species of bee: the honeybee, 20 different bumblebees and 77 different solitary bees. We know that one third of Irish bee species are threatened with extinction.
Contributing €153 billion worth of pollination to the agri-food industry annually, honey bees play an essential role in global food production. One third of all food that we eat depends on pollinators, and there are 91 million managed beehives worldwide.
Earth Day 2019 is highlighting the need to protect our endangered species – “Studies estimate that we are now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the normal rate. Insect populations have decreased by more than 45% worldwide; 40% of the world’s bird species are in decline; beekeepers report annual hive losses of 30% or higher, and the list goes on.”
ApisProtect is monitoring the health of ten million honey bees across 100,000 acres in Europe, North America, and South Africa. Beekeepers no longer need to rely solely on periodic, manual hive checks that can allow disease, pests and other issues to deteriorate hive health beyond rescue. Edwards Murphy adds “Our mission at ApisProtect, is to save the honey bees, because if we don’t take action now, we’ll lose our most important insect ally. We want to secure the supply of one third of our diet, and make sure we can nourish and feed the 9.7 billion people on planet earth by 2050.”
ApisProtect brings the power of advanced sensors and machine learning technology into the hive to deliver a 24/7 early warning system so beekeepers can give at-risk hives immediate attention and improve bee health.
Combining the sensor data on hive conditions, health and activity levels with its proprietary big data and machine learning techniques, ApisProtect gives beekeepers actionable insights and alerts to help prevent losses and increase colony productivity.
Dr Pádraig Whelan, Chief Science Officer, ApisProtect, commented “We hope that with our technology we will be able to reduce honey bee losses and improve the health of honey bee colonies worldwide. We can all help our pollinators by planting more bee friendly plants in our roadsides, gardens, communities and cities”
The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 provides great tips for gardeners and community groups to help create a landscape where pollinators can survive and thrive, we can all do a small bit to help all our pollinators to thrive this Earth Day by planting more bee friendly plants and trees.
Founded by preeminent researchers in the use of sensors in beehives, ApisProtect provides real-time hive monitoring powered by satellite-enabled sensors that are retrofitted to existing beehives. Dr. Edwards Murphy’s work on the topic of hive monitoring has received many national and international awards from the Irish Research Council, The IEEE, IBM, The Irish Laboratory Awards, Google, and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Visit www.apisprotect.com #ApisProtect
Watch this video to learn more about ApisProtect and Edwards Murphy’s vision for future full of healthy honey bee hives.