"We came up with this idea because beekeepers had a lot of problems with theft and problems with keeping track of bee health. Roberto, our CEO, is a generational beekeeper, so he understood these problems well. We then moved to help farmers with pollination because they have similar problems - they don't have information on the bee's health and therefore the performance of the bees that pollinate their crops," says Julia Semeniuk, Business Development at Buzzup.
Buzzup was founded in 2017, originally to help beekeepers keep track of their bees remotely with the help of IoT devices. Offering bee pollination with IoT devices is one of the main services at Buzzup. This pollination records and translates sound into pollination performance using AI. It, therefore, helps farmers pollinate the crops while respecting the health of bees and making sure their yields increase with proper pollination.
Real bees and technology
"We use bees (bumblebees and mason bees) together with our technology as it's very important for farmers to understand the health of these bees. If they are not pollinated properly, farmers can lose around 20% of crop yields (depending on the crop)," Julia adds.
Thanks to integrated sensors in their technology, the Buzzup team has a proper understanding of the growing environment. As the flowering period of crops is normally very short, it is important for growers to measure this in real-time. Buzzup technology can be used for crops that benefit from pollination or rely on pollination, such as fruiting crops.
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Testing on tomatoes
Based on previous tests with tomatoes, results showcased that tomato yields significantly increased. But not that alone, also the vitamin content and the aspect of the produce. That is due to proper pollination, which automatically results in more equally spread contents in this area, Julia explains.
The system pairs bees and devices together as the solution will be more affordable. "A combination of the two will help farmers increase their crop yields and -offering. Specifically for vertical farms and, therefore, will increase the return on the investment. Buzzup's technology can be purchased with a one-time fee plus a yearly data subscription.
Greenhouse and vertical farm application (soon)
At this point in time, the technology is used in greenhouses. Yet, the team is looking to implement it for vertical farms soon and is currently looking for partners to test out their solution in vertical farms.