A major environmental problem facing Europe today is the decline of the honey bee. And BeesMAX is a company that plans to tackle this.

Through the use of their Blue Box Rehoming Scheme, BeesMAX aim to provide depleted wild colonies with a new habitat in which the bees can reorganise and restructure. As well as placing these in woodland areas, they also offer schools and businesses the opportunity to install hives on their sites.

Arnia, similarly, is a company concerned with bee health, but from a more technical standpoint. They have developed technology that goes into a hive and records data that is sent back to the beekeeper. Sensors are fitted inside the hive in order to monitor the colony’s behaviour and these statistics are then sent, via a gateway, to the user’s devices, allowing them to better understand their own bees. The data collected can be compared across different hives using the same technology.

After working together, both companies have decided to enter an official partnership, with BeesMAX using Arnia technology in their rehoming scheme. This opens up a whole world of educational opportunities and provides a more in-depth experience.

Mark Gale, founder of BeesMAX, explains below a little more about the partnership between Arnia and BeesMAX and what it means for both companies moving forward.

How has the Arnia Technology already helped?

“Arnia is the principal reason for the schools taking part because without their technology, the only way schools can get involved with bees is the way they’ve done it for the last fifty years – to put the hat and gloves on, take the top off and have a look to see what’s going on. It would be very much down to the expertise of your local beekeeper to say what’s happening. We call it a ‘poke and hope’ way of doing things, which is archaic. This is moving it into the digital age and online. It’s a revolutionary change.”

So why Arnia? There must be other companies with similar technology?

“Without the Arnia system, we wouldn’t exist in the same way at all. The Arnia system is unique in combining colony acoustics monitoring with brood temperature, hive humidity, hive weight and apiary weather to provide detailed insight into hive conditions and bee behaviour. No other system provides this richness of data. Also Arnia is a UK business; the technology is developed and manufactured in the UK. BeesMax is also keen to promote British business.”

Data collection using Arnia technology in BeesMAX rehoming scheme.

Finally, what are your hopes for the future with this joint venture?

“We aim to have 1000 schools on the system either watching data or hosting hives across both the state and independent sectors. Schools can become the custodians of a vast hive network across the country. If all the bees die out in the wild due to pollution, the only people who are going to have any left are the schools, and they’ll breed a new generation of eco warriors and environmentalists to keep on fighting.”

Getting your school involved

For more information about getting your school involved in helping the bee population of the UK, please contact Mark at BeesMAX.

Post by Sarah Austwick (link to original post).