World Bee Day: ApisProtect

Communications, Content, MediaHQ, MediaHQ.com
May 20, 2019
by Niamh Dunne

It is World Bee Day! To celebrate the day, we sat down with one of our own clients, ApisProtect to talk about their unique methods in saving bees.

Aoife O’Mahony from ApisProtect talks to us about the importance of Wolrd Bee Day and how MediaHQ has helped them.

Can you tell us a bit about ApisProtect?

ApisProtect was established by Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy and her co-founders Dr Pádraig Whelan and Andrew Wood in 2017. ApisProtect uses IoT technology to monitor the health of honey bees and reduce colony losses.

Our technology solution uses a unique combination of sensors to monitor honey bees in the hive, we collect temperature, humidity, CO2, sound, and movement data from a single sensor unit installed inside the hive. The data collected from these sensors provide a 24/7 early warning system for beekeepers.

How has the company grown and developed since it began?

I joined the team last August, at that stage it was a team of three co-founders and one engineer. We now have a team of 10 and are hoping to expand to 25 over the next two years.

Since then we have rolled out our technology in 200 locations across Ireland, the U.K, North America and South Africa.  We are now monitoring the health of 10 million honey bees foraging across 100,000 acres from our offices here in Cork.

We have also established our first U.S office at the Western Growers Association’s WG Center for Innovation and Technology in Salinas, California. Salinas is known as the salad bowl of the world, the agriculture industry in Salinas is valued at $9 billion so it is important for us to have an office there to meet with commercial growers and raise our profile with potential customers.

What makes ApisProtect different from other companies involved in beekeeping and bee protection?

ApisProtect does not require beekeepers to learn new technology or take on additional tasks. Through machine learning technology, beekeepers will gain valuable information about their hives including the condition, activities, and productivity levels of their bees. This will save time and help beekeepers become more effective and cultivate larger, healthier colonies

For example, instead of expecting our beekeepers to look through multiple graphs of temperature data (which they can if they so wish) we aim to simply send them an alert saying, “Check hive #this hive is sick” or “this hive has no queen”. This allows beekeepers to use the beekeeping skills and knowledge they already possess in a much more effective manner. This actionable information also lets us help commercial beekeepers to maximise pollination and honey yield.

Essentially, we will be providing beekeepers with an alert system that will enable them to know which hive needs attention now, providing a 24/7 early warning system.

How do you find MediaHQ has helped ApisProtect?

We are delighted to work with the MediaHQ team, one of our key successes using the platform was announcing our first round of investment last November. We announced the close of a €1.5 million seed round of financing led by top-tier international venture capital investors Finistere Ventures and Atlantic Bridge Capital. Radicle Growth, the Yield Lab and Enterprise Ireland also participated in the investment round.

We issued this announcement through the MediaHQ database and the result of this was substantial coverage in Irish media outlets. Utilising the MediaHQ database has enabled us to reach out to journalists directly and build relationships with key journalists in Ireland. The team have been really helpful ensuring we are maximizing the benefit of this platform.

How will ApisProtect mark World Bee Day on May 20?

We are delighted to announce that we are partnering with Inmarsat, the leading global mobile satellite communications service on World Bee Day. Partnering with Inmarsat will enable us to monitor beehives in remote locations worldwide, many apiaries are based in remote locations and this technology will enable us to partner with beekeepers no matter how remote their location.

What is the importance/significance of World Bee Day?

In many countries, up to 50% of honey bees are dying every year. A host of problems, including diseases and pests, are devastating hive populations around the globe. This not only impacts beekeepers but also our ability to feed current and future generations.  Continued losses of honey bees will impact our ability to nourish and feed the predicted 9.7 billion people on planet earth by 2050.

The UN has designated May 20 as World Bee Day to highlight the importance of honey bees and all pollinators, and their role in ensuring global food supply. Contributing €153 billion worth of pollination to the agri-food industry annually, honey bees play an essential role in global food production.

One third of all the food that we eat depends on pollinators, and there are 91 million managed beehives worldwide. A failure to address the current decline in honey bees will significantly impact us all, as they play an essential role in global food production.

In Ireland alone, we have 98 different species of bee: the honeybee, 20 different bumblebees and 77 different solitary bees. We know that one third of Irish bee species are threatened with extinction.

We can all help our pollinators by planting more bee friendly plants in our roadsides, gardens, communities and cities. The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 provides great tips for gardeners and organisations to help create a landscape where pollinators can survive and thrive. We can all do a small bit to help all our pollinators to thrive this World Bee by planting more bee friendly plants and trees.

With over 6,000 contacts on our database, we offer the largest database of Irish media contacts and a dedicated newsfeed to notify you of updates in the Irish media industry. Like ApisProtect, we want to give you the tools to help you make the news. Click here for more information on our PR software or call Gaye on (01) 254 1845