IoT to help protect bee populations
Beekeeping dates back 4,000 years, but the methods have hardly changed. However, Internet of Things (IoT)-connected beehives enable beekeepers to remotely monitor their hives and provide researchers and authorities with valuable data that can help protect threatened bee populations. This in turn can help protect the food chains and biodiversity that we all depend upon. But to be successful, reliable connectivity is crucial.
BeeLab Technology Sweden AB digitalizes beehives for the benefit of both beekeepers and researchers. In collaboration with Telia, BeeLab is connecting beehives across Sweden with Telia Narrowband IoT connectivity (NB-IoT), enabling access to even the most remote and hard-to-reach located beehives.
Future of beekeeping
Bees are among the most important living creatures on the planet. Most of the world’s crops and flowering plants depend on pollination by bees, making them essential for maintaining the biodiversity and ecosystems we rely upon. But because of habitat loss, intensive farming methods and pesticides, entire bee populations are dying worldwide. More data and research are needed to understand how to save them.
BeeLab enhances beekeeping for the future by connecting beehives to collect data that can be visualized on a cloud platform for real-time insight and research. “Beekeeping dates back thousands of years,” says Mikael Ekström, CEO for BeeLab. “Internet of Things creates new opportunities for beekeepers and has the power to transform their ways of working, just as IoT has reshaped other conventional enterprises. Traditionally, beekeepers have had to physically visit the hives to inspect their condition and the status of the honey production. Using real-time data, they can monitor the hives remotely and act immediately when needed. And by analyzing the data over time, the beekeepers can become more proactive"
Connecting the beehives
The beehives are equipped with sensors that measure each hive’s weight, humidity and temperature — data that is important for understanding a specific bee colony’s condition, honey production, population size and how external factors such as weather affect it. Sensor data is sent several times an hour from a gateway inside the hives to the cloud via Telia NB-IoT connectivity.
NB-IoT is designed for sending small amounts of data at preset intervals, which enables longer sensor battery life. The technology also reaches further and deeper than traditional IoT connectivity.
“We needed the best connectivity, so for us, Telia was the obvious choice,” Mikael Ekström says. “Many beehives are in hard-to-reach, rural areas. But with Telia NB-IoT, even the most remote beehives stay connected.”
Data that is widely valuable
BeeLab has connected the homes of millions of bees across Sweden. Beekeepers can access their data via the BeeLab app, gaining insight that enables more proactive decisions and predictive maintenance of their hives. In addition, it is also possible to get an overview of all the hives in a region or an entire country. This overview enables researchers and authorities to follow long-term changes, to take actions that contribute to securing biodiversity — and our future.
- Efficient workflows and real-time insight for bee keepers with remote monitoring of key data for their bee colonies.
- Provides valuable data for researchers and authorities to safeguard the bee population.
- The wide reach of NB-IoT enables stable and reliable IoT-connectivity even in remote areas.
- Low-data transmission and long battery life simplifies operations.
- Scalable solution, enabling expansion into new market.
Read more about Telia IoT Connectivity
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