Innovation That Matters

Beehives | Photo source Pixabay

IoT beehive protects bee life

Computing & Tech

A startup has developed a new sustainable beehive with IoT connectivity to eradicate deadly mites and keep bees safe.

Spotted: Bees are vital to agriculture, but in recent years, they have been prone to colony collapse disorder, which decimates the hives. One of the main culprits in colony collapse disorder is the varroa mite. The varroa is a parasite, which invades the hives and is very difficult to eradicate – until now. A French startup called Beelife has developed a beehive, called the CoCoon, which can help destroy varroa mites that have invaded a hive.

The CoCoon takes advantage of the fact that bees can withstand much higher temperatures than the mites. The new hive uses a solar panel to power a heating system that gradually brings the hive’s interior temperature up to 42 degrees Celsius. This is hot enough to kill the mites without damaging the bees. The CoCoon can also cool the hive during hot weather, monitor hive activity and sound an alarm if somebody tries to steal the hive.

The CoCoon was unveiled at this year’s CES, and is expected to be available for purchase in late 2019, retailing for around €850 each. While this is pricey, its makers argue that the CoCoon can pay for itself in three years. They point out that it cuts the cost of chemical treatments and can increase honey production by keeping the hive at the optimal temperature. The CoCoon joins other innovations that focus on making agriculture more efficient and reducing the use of chemicals. These include using AI to protect crop yields and remote-controlled farming.




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