Bees are real superheroes for nature and environmental protection. We all know that, among other things, bees are responsible for pollinating plants in an ecosystem. Without these and many other pollinating insects, our nature would be much less colorful and numerous plant species would no longer exist. This reduced diversity in our flora would also have a direct impact on our food.
Bees are also of great importance for agriculture. They pollinate not only flowers, but also fruit and vegetables. Without bees, agricultural crops would not grow and bear fruit. Our farmers’ production would be considerably smaller and the supermarket shelves would be empty. It’s safe to say that bees are not unimportant as an economic factor either. Honeybees pollinate around 80 percent of our plants. But bees, like many other insects, are under threat: global warming, environmental pollution, intensive agriculture, the use of pesticides and the increasing loss of biodiversity are all taking their toll on beneficial insects.
The smart beehive
At Telekom, we take care of bees, and we do so with the use of cutting-edge technology. In the “Magenta Blossom” field, we have equipped our own beehives with IoT technology, among other things. IoT stands for “Internet of Things,” or the intelligent networking of devices. This technology ensures that devices can communicate with each other by exchanging data and information. The sensors in the hives constantly record temperature and weight trends. This allows us to gain detailed information about the development of the bee colonies and their honey production. The best part? You can even follow the whole process live on the Internet on a dashboard.
In this exciting topic, we are developing new technical solutions in cooperation with our partner BeeAnd.me from Vienna. We observe parameters such as weight, temperature, or bee activity in the hive. The observations enable interesting options. These include:
For more information about the Telekom IoT bees, follow this link.
There are currently 30 beehives connected throughout Europe. These hives are home to the so-called “mellifera mellifera”, also known as the European honey bee.
New opportunities for the future
Digitalization offers great potential for the care of bees. So-called “digital hive monitoring” can in fact also be integrated into other systems, enabling comprehensive monitoring and optimal management for beekeepers*. The data obtained can then also be shared with researchers, which in turn opens up the following possibilities:
It is fascinating to see the huge role that small animals like our native bees play in the context of climate change. It is therefore even more important that we keep reminding ourselves of this meaning.