How active is your bumblebee hive? No clue? You're not the only one. Even though the activeness of bumblebees can be affected, there's hardly a solution to keep track of it. Up until now. The company Agrolabs has launched B-control, a one-of-a-kind bumblebee-hive automation and analytics device. "The device helps greenhouse farms maximize and control pollination effectiveness," Agrolabs’ CEO Michael Lazarenko says. Also growers can create schedules built around their lighting and spraying cycles to automatically open and close hives when needed.
“With B-Control we are helping to take care of bumblebee families. They live longer and better lives whilst greenhouse farmers enjoy more yield and save cost and time," says Michael Lazarenko says. “Effective pollination can boost marketable yield in greenhouses by over 200% and with automated hive curtain we saw pilot greenhouses saving 40 mins a day of manual labour (on average).”
B-Control is equipped with a smart counting system that provides analytics of hive activity to avert the adverse effects of low pollination. "Growers get automated notifications if hive activity drops, so they can get new bumblebees timely," Michael shows. The Agrolabs system is completely wireless, Cloud-based and can be controlled from any device. Agrolabs also offers adapters that allow connection of the device to all major hive brands.
To work well in harsh greenhouse conditions, Agrolabs designed a proprietary radio data transfer protocol, greenhouse-specific antennas, sturdy casing, and fitted the device with a rechargeable battery that lasts for 10 weeks. "Even the smallest details were thought out-- even a lab study was performed to determine which color (from over 26 color variants) would make it simpler for bumblebees to identify their home."
B-Control connects to the internet through Agrolabs HUB, which can sync up to 250 various sensors simultaneously. All sensors are plug-and-play and users can always extend their solution by adding new data points on climate and irrigation. In addition, Agrolabs offers a Cloud Analytics platform and predictive AI features.