September 21, 2017
by Karen Renner

Technology and a 7,000-year-old industry

We typically do not associate bees with technology. However, technology is enabling better ways of helping beekeepers boost their efficiency, yields and performance.

In the 21st century, the apiary industry is still unsophisticated at the rural end. Hives are established out in the back-blocks, bees do their thing, honey is collected and processed in factories. What’s to improve, when Manuka honey is lauded worldwide?

Consider technology to locate and manage hives, monitor production quality, and deal with up-scaling as the international demand for Manuka honey increases. Geospatial intelligence is critical as it allows beekeepers to site hives in the right places to avoid their bees producing blended honey. Technology, in the form of drones (no pun intended) and thermal imaging, will identify native manuka and kanuka stands.

Technology can detect hive weight change, indicating when to collect honey. It supports asset tracking and perimeter security. Sensors can pick up audio from which hive health can be assessed and parasites identified.

Good monitoring systems help to pick up potential problems and issues early.