Smart Industry 1/2019

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Port Harcourt: Honey Flow Africa

Putting a Buzz into Beekeeping

Bees don’t just make honey; they

are vital to agriculture as pollinators

for all kinds of crops. Unfortunately,

bee populations are susceptible to

many threats, such as diseases, climate

change, and predators. Mites,

viruses, and fungi are the bees’ worst

enemies, global warming affects seasonal

behavior, and bee hunters such

as insects, moths, and birds are rising

– not just in number, but also in levels

of attrition.

Honey Flow Africa, a Nigerian startup,

has a multidisciplinary team

with years of experience in management

and product design focused

on beekeeping. Its goal is to use IoT

Amaete Umanah,

CEO of Honey Flow

solutions to increase survival rates

and population growth and to boost

honey production through smart

time management of nectar flows.

The Hive Monitoring System is based

on the BeeTeck Communication

Modules, which can be placed quickly

and easily into each beehive where

they automatically gather key markers

and sends them to the cloud. All

the beekeeper has to do is to check

a computer, smartphone, or tablet to

see if all is well.

“BeeTeck is the brain of the beehive,”

says CEO Amaete Umanah. “This

module reads everything about

what happens with the swarm inside

the beehive, like knowing if the

queen is laying, assessing if the temperature

is comfortable, and if the

level of humidity is at required levels.”

Umanah believes it is time to digitize

beekeeping: “We empower African

beekeepers to understand their bees

better. Moving from calendar-based

decisions to data-driven solutions

helps optimize beekeeping operations

and keep healthy bees.”

African honeybees, which mainly live

in the wild and are more aggressive

than their European cousins, are not

picky about which flowers they visit.

Nigeria now exports bees to areas in

Europe and North America, where

native bees have been dying at

alarming rates for the past ten years,

worrying scientists, the public, and

politicians.

US beekeepers reported losing

about three of every 10 bees in the

winters of 2006 and 2007. The global

reduction in numbers is affecting

people all over the world because it

poses a risk to food security.

Among the causes of the decline are

disease and poor nutrition, which

are difficult to fix. Another culprit,

chemicals, is uncertain and widely

debated – but that hasn’t stopped

bee lovers from assigning blame.

Some countries have even outlawed

certain pesticides.

By bringing the dynamics of IoT to

beekeeping BeeTeck hopes to solve

bee problems globally through remote

monitoring of the apiaries

and identification of the presence of

diseases, pest infestation, pesticide

exposure, and toxicity. Umanah believes

that continuous monitoring of

such sensor data is crucial to maintaining

a healthy bee population.

honeyflowafrica.com

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