Why did you join the team at ApisProtect?
I heard about ApisProtect and that they were looking for Ecologist and Beekeeper from one of my college supervisors. At the time I had just completed an introduction to beekeeping course and was in the middle of researching an engineering solution for the control of Varroa.
I wanted to join the ApisProtect team because the idea of monitoring bee colonies with minimal disturbances and then using this data in machine learning to predict the health of the colony in a non-invasive way is fascinating. With global food shortages expected in the near future, finding new ways and technologies to improve food supply in ethical and ecological ways is becoming more important. By improving how we monitor and manage honey bee species, which we use as an agricultural commodity, may help us improve the environment for other pollinators sharing the same habitat.
By monitoring honey bees, we have the opportunity to improve our knowledge of their behaviour and needs. If honey bees lack natural resources to meet their needs, we can expect other pollinators to be under similar stress. We now have the chance to improve this situation for pollinators and the plants they pollinate to our benefit.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the variety of the people I work with and what that means in relation to my day-to-day work. How many jobs offer you the opportunity to work closely with Engineers, Data scientists, Botanists, Software Engineers, and Marketing and Sales personnel. We get to be a part of a product going from prototype to commercialisation and all the steps that takes.
Since starting with the company in 2019 my role evolved from beekeeping and ecology to include more operations management. Some days are mainly general office admin and bookkeeping, others can be spent working with the team and contractors focusing on product development.
Why did you specialize in Ecology?
Ecology is the study of nature and the relationships between living organisms, their environment and each other. This includes humans, and to me is a constant reminder that we are not separate from our environment but a part of it.
What has been the most interesting aspect of your role?
Understanding more about the beekeeping industry. The different levels of beekeeping and the diversity of people who keep bees. From hobbyists with one or two hives to industrial scale bee keeping operations with 1000’s of hives and dozens of employees. People’s reasons to keep bees vary from environmental concerns and wanting a small amount of honey for their own use, to full commercial operations, for honey production and/or pollination services. It can be a skill handed down through generations in the countryside or started for the first time on a city roof top. Understanding that at different levels beekeepers needs vary, helps us to create the most suitable product for the customer.