At the heart of ApisProtect – an Irish-based startup with its hub or “hive” in Cork – is a dynamic woman with enthusiasm and the intelligence to create and thrust this cutting-edge technology into the world to save the bees.
This 1:03-minute video by ApisProtect shows us how this bee monitoring technology works:
Dr. Fiona Edwards Murphy started her doctoral research into applying sensors and networking in honey bee hives back in 2013 and says ApisProtect was inspired by proven research in academia. She was awarded the Sodexo WMB Female Newcomer Award in 2018.
The project received international recognition and 8 or more academic publications. It was granted awards by the Irish Research Council, the IEEE, IBM, The Irish Laboratory Awards and Google, and got plenty of international media attention.
After this project, ApisProtect was formed and Dr. Edwards Murphy is the CEO and co-founder. This has moved the use of technology in beehives into the commercial sphere in order to assist beekeepers to increase productivity and prevent losses. A particular challenge for traditional beekeeping is how to monitor beehives in remote or isolated locations, especially when extreme weather or harsh environments are involved and communication technology struggles to be effective.
ApisProtect’s membership with ESA Space Solutions Ireland is addressing this challenge by using satellite communications technology and provides access to technical experts, mentors and global partnerships with satellite communication providers. In addition, the ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) offers funding and support for SMEs that want to develop their business using space technology in non-space environments.
In just 0:46-seconds she gives a quick insight into what ApisProtect can do for bees and beekeepers:
At the heart of it all is Dr. Edwards Murphy’s vision to save the bees and for full health of honey bee hives. She believes it is vital to support and strengthen our greatest pollinators, the honey bees, since one-third of our diet is due to them as pollinators. She feels the urgency for the planet to be able to not just feed, but nourish, the projected 9.7 billion people who will inhabit planet earth in 2050.
In Ireland alone there are 98 species of bee: the honeybee, 20 different bumblebees and 77 other solitary bees. One-third of Irish bee species are known to be threatened with extinction.
This start-up company now has their technology in over 400 beehives on 3 continents, monitoring over 20 million bees 24/7. This affords them with an ever-growing database of information that will enrich the system for all users over time. The plan is to scale up the company around the globe over the next two years, and this is extremely within reach. ApisProtect has strategically joined the Microsoft for Startup program.
One of the greatest assets this cutting-edge technology offers is the ability to identify weak colonies for rapid intervention. This helps the beekeeper to act early which reduces and possibly even prevents diseases, pests and other events which could lead to large-scale colony loss.
Satellite communications technology is helping ApisProtect monitor the health of the honeybee for commercial agricultural businesses that depend on the world’s greatest pollinator to pollinate their crops.
In this 1:48-minute video, Dr. Fiona Edwards Murphy explains how satellite communications technology monitors hives:
The team behind ApisProtect includes decades of engineering, beekeeping, commercial and scientific experience.
ApisProtect has the leading technology in this field. Beekeepers using this technology say that it is a game changer for them, which is exciting news since the global loss of honeybee hives is between 40%-50% annually.
Smarter beehives for improved productivity and reduced losses. There is no question that for the love and protection of the honey bee, we are moving into a technology-centered world that will help us to save them. And therefore, save ourselves.