BEESECURE 2021: BEE SECURITY

Roberto Pasi, CEO of BeeSecure, reveals more about his company which helps researchers to know more about – and protect – our beloved bees.

When was BeeSecure launched and what was the motivation behind it? 

We first launched our product in 2017, but it started out as an anti-theft system for beehives that was inserted inside the hive to track the GPS location. Later on, we developed the sensors to also track temperature and humidity, giving beekeepers additional information on their beehives remotely, with the help of an app. 

One of the reasons we started BeeSecure is because beehive thefts were becoming increasingly common, and they’re very expensive to replace. We wanted to find a solution for this, as well as simplify the beekeeper’s job by giving them the opportunity to check their bees’ health remotely.

Can you describe exactly what BeeSecure does? 

BeeSecure is a small IoT device that’s inserted into beehives or other pollinator nests, that listens to the sound of the insects, and translates their sound into useful information about their health and pollination performance.

Our device also has other sensors, so all the data is combined to give an accurate translation. This data is then transferred to your smartphone via the app, where you can keep track of the bees remotely.

Are there any competitors out there?

Yes, our main competitors are BeeHero, Nectar, and Pollenity. What makes us different is the fact that while they focus just on bees, we track the pollination of bumblebees, wild bees, and crickets so as to have a more comprehensive overview and also be able to work 12 months a year in indoor farms and greenhouses.

How big is beekeeping these days?

Beekeeping is a pretty big sector and has expanded over the last few years. Currently, there are around 655,000 beekeepers in Europe – and Italy is the fourth biggest country in terms of the number of beehives. Around 75% of the hives are managed by professional commercial beekeepers.

However, we not only focus on beekeeping but on farmers and companies, too. The latter forms a large part of our client database.

At the moment we’re starting a project called Test Farms, where we’ll test our device on a farm in Poland to establish the value that farmers get from using our product, and the value of certifications in the food production chain. We also collaborate with farmers to test new features, and we always seek their feedback to improve.

How common is the theft of bees?

It’s more widespread than one would ever think! The issue gets worse around spring, when the bees are used for pollination, and when there is honey flow. Thieves are usually beekeepers themselves that, for some reason or other, have lost their own bees.

How do you see the future of bees?

The care of bees – and not just honey bees – will become more and more vital as time goes on. Most of the food we eat is reliant on pollination carried out by insects, including apples, apricots, oranges, and tomatoes.

Sadly, as climate change becomes even more evident, we’re starting to lose these important pollinators. This is why it’s now crucial to use technology to our (and their) benefit.

We imagine a future where bees are protected by the farmers themselves and are given more value, are monitored, and where action is taken to preserve the biodiversity in and around fields.

What lies ahead for BeeSecure? 

Hopefully a successful Series A round of fundraising! We’re currently raising €2million to expand our operations, open new markets, and scale fast. Not only that, but we’re introducing new pollinators to our monitoring systems. Watch this space!

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