ApisProtect Brings Mission to Save Bee Populations Into Space With ESA Business Incubator at Tyndall
Sensor technology and earth observation data to be used to monitor health of honey bees worldwide.
Cork, Ireland. ApisProtect has joined the Tyndall National Institute-led business incubator at the European Space Agency (ESA) Space Solutions Centre Ireland.
ApisProtect is now monitoring the health of twenty million honey bees across the world. A key challenge for the traditional beekeeping industry is monitoring beehives in remote locations in harsh environments where traditional communication networks struggle to communicate.
This new partnership with ESA-BIC will help address this challenge and help beekeepers monitor their colonies remotely. With this new technology beekeepers will 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. They will be able to identify which colonies need care and when, this will reduce losses and increase productivity for beekeepers.
Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy, CEO of ApisProtect, highlights the importance of exploring new technologies to assist the billion-dollar pollination industry. “Right now, we are in the peak of the technological development, utilising the data sets and learnings from our global validation trials in the U.S., South Africa and Europe to build the final commercial product. Working with ESA- BIC will enable us to access expertise, funding and partners to facilitate this.”
David Gibbons of ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland, said “At ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland, we are seeking entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to use space technology and space generated data in commercial earth environments. We are delighted to have ApisProtect utilise satellite communications technology and earth observation data in the agricultural sector as one of the innovative Irish companies we are supporting. This partnership highlights how ESA is keen to support new technologies that help solve global challenges and help ensure global food supply by ensuring the health of honey bees worldwide.”
Dr 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 is using intelligent sensor technology to monitor honey bee colonies across the world to support the global pollination industry. 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.
Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy commented, “In some countries, up to 40 percent of our honey bees are dying every year. A host of problems, diseases, and pests are devastating hive populations around the globe. Beekeepers in the U.S. are now preparing for the Almond Season in February 2020 and are struggling to identify the health of their colonies. With our technology, this time next year beekeepers will be able to identify which of their colonies are strong or weak and practice precision beekeeping which will transform the industry.”
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.