Our Impact

Smart Bee Hiving Technology

Thematic Area: ICTs including big data and artificial intelligence

University: University of Rwanda (UR)

Project Leader: Dr Damien Hanyurwimfura

Collaborating Partners: NARADA Electronics Ltd, Rwanda; Seed Technology Engineering and Science Group, Rwanda; University of Malawi, Malawi; Copperbelt University, Zambia; Sodertorn University, Sweden

Duration: 2 years

Project Overview

Beekeeping in Africa has been practiced for many years through successive generations and along inherited patterns. The activity has basically been traditional and of non-commercial nature, where honey is used as a food product, medicine and for brewing traditional liquor. Many development organizations have been involved in supporting beekeeping activities with producer organizations but in spite of these attempts, the sector remains underdeveloped. Beekeepers also face challenges in accessing consistent and business driven markets for their bee products. In addition, the honeybee populations are decreasing due to colony collapse disorder (CCD), and information on the environmental conditions surrounding the beehives is not available to beekeepers due to the lack of monitoring and evaluation systems.  These challenges result in low production of honey and death of bees.  Thus, researchers, environmentalists and public policy makers need to understand any meaningful response to these challenges.

Therefore, there is a need to develop a unique platform through which we can monitor, collect and analyze activity within the colonies unobtrusively and on a unique scale.

The technology

This project introduces the smart technology into bees hives monitoring, protection and production.  The Smart Bees Hiving Technology (SBHT) allows monitoring of a whole range of parameters relating to the conditions impacting negatively on the bees’ life cycle and functions, which will lead to appropriate interventions. It will also contribute to capacity building in technological skills for the implementation of smart bee farming and entrepreneurship and commercialization of the SBHT product in the market.

Expected Impact

The SBHT is intended to increase efficiency in the beekeeping environment management, efficiency in management of forestation, increase the viability of the beekeeping industry leading to more job opportunities and improved well being of people.