Here’s how an Irish start-up plans to use IoT to save the bees (video)

26 Jan 2016

With continuing fears over the declining bee populations worldwide, one Irish start-up called the Blazer Team thinks it has an internet of things (IoT) concept as sweet as bee’s honey.

While the widespread decline in bee populations attributed to colony collapse disorder is of worldwide concern, it’s become apparent that Ireland is one of the leading nations of researchers and developers looking to help save the pollinating wonders.

Many of the common technologies seen implemented to help at least determine and track the lifespan of current pollinating bees have largely been based around radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies on the bees themselves.

Unfortunately, many of these technologies end up having some negative side effect on the bees, but a proposal by the three-person start-up called the Blazer Team based in the Trinity Research and Innovation Centre in Trinity College Dublin (TCD), might have a solution.

Taking on the might of the mites

When looking to point the finger of blame at one reason for the decline of bees, it can be usually pointed towards a minute pest known as the Varroa destructor mite.

Usually measuring only about one or two millimetres in length, the mite finds its way into a bee hive and begins laying eggs on the embryonic bees, inevitably killing its new host.

What the Blazer Team proposes is to use IoT technology by installing its sensors in a number of bee hives.

Once installed, its Blazer System will remotely monitor the health of each bee and compile that data to give an in-depth analysis of the colony’s overall health.

Looking to the future, the team says it is also developing a mechanical, non-chemical, method for preventing problems such as Varroa and pests from ever entering the hive.

“We want to save honeybees all over the world, digitise beekeeping everywhere, and in doing so become the internet of things for apiculture (bee-keeping),” the team says of its efforts.

Check out the video below, made by the rather talented crew over at ThinkVisual.

Bee hive image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic