Mini-satellites may offer honey bees a healthier future
Agriculture & Energy
Hostabee installs a transmitter box at the hive’s location site, which then transmits data to a satellite from tiny sensors in the hive that are linked to the box
Spotted: Hostabee, a tech startup backed by the European Space Agency, is installing ultra-sensitive monitors into beehives to keep them healthy.
Beehives need to maintain optimum humidity and heat, as they are naturally very sensitive to climate and temperature. Entire hives can fail because of high temperatures, or dangerous fungi growing because of the high humidity. Statistically, we are now seeing up to 50 per cent of beehives fail, which has a negative impact on honey farming and agriculture more generally.
Hostabee installs a transmitter box at the hive’s location site, which then transmits data to a satellite from tiny sensors in the hive that are linked to the box. The sensors monitor the two components that are vital for the health and comfort of the bees: the humidity levels and internal temperature. These sensors are small enough to fit into any hive and operate on radio waves to avoid disturbing the bees. Beekeepers can access the data at any time on their smartphones, enabling them to detect any issues with the hives early on.
The company is already established in France, and it is now offering British beekeepers the chance to use the technology to keep their own bees healthy. The transmitter box costs under £100 and the subscription to the service is £3 a month.
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13th February 2020