Apiarists can now monitor their bee boxes and hives from anywhere, anytime through their mobile and other devices eliminating the usual manual process.
Dev Beetech India Pvt. Ltd, a Tamil Nadu-based start-up, has come out with an IoT (Internet of Things)-based product called GoBuzzR which when installed on the bee box monitors details like weight of honey deposited, temperature and humidity of the beehives, among others.
“Traditionally, beekeepers monitor each box manually. These boxes are kept at different places and moving around takes a lot of time and involves huge cost. Not just that each time before checking the boxes they have to wear a bee suit to prevent getting stung,” said G. Kapildev, founder of the start-up.
“Beekeepers have to pull out each frame from the box to keep track of the honey. And this takes a lot of time. But now with this technology, all they have to do is to plug in the device and they can monitor beehives from anywhere and get the report of all them together in a few seconds in their devices,” he said.
Mr. Kapildev explained that this was an IoT based device communicating to the mobile application via website based server. GoBuzzR monitors the weight of the beehive round the clock with the help of sensors in the device. From time to time, the device sends out statistics pertaining to the bee box to the beekeepers.
“This works similar to a CCTV – you install it and monitor it through your devices from anywhere,” Mr. Kapildev said.
Pilot studies done
The start-up began its research work for this venture in 2018 and since then has done several pilot studies.
And this year, the start-up applied for the Tanseed funding given by the State government and is one among the nineteen winners who will receive grant of ₹10 lakh (the grant will be given in two tranches). This year, 640 start-ups applied for this funding, of which 53 were shortlisted for a boot camp. Only 51 firms turned up for the boot camp and from here 30 start-ups were picked for the pre-final pitch and 19 were chosen for funding.
In the coming days, Mr. Kapildev and his team will be experimenting on solar and battery based models.
Government data shows that there were 10,000 beekeepers, beekeeping and honey societies, firms and companies in India with over 16 lakh honeybee colonies that had been registered with the National Bee Board.
Honey production has increased from 35,000 tonnes(2005-06) to 1,20,000 tonnes (2018-19) which is 242.86% increase. Honey production has been estimated 1,15,000 tonnes in 2019-20. Export of honey has increased from 16,769 tonnes (2005-06) to 61,333.91 tonnes (2018-19) which is a 265.76% increase. 59,536.74 tonnes of honey was exported in 2019-20.