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Disruptive, Protected, Scalable, Smart Anti-Theft-System with AI-based Service Software for the protection of Bee Hives

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BeeSafe (Disruptive, Protected, Scalable, Smart Anti-Theft-System with AI-based Service Software for the protection of Bee Hives)

Reporting period: 2020-05-01 to 2020-10-31

Apiculture (Beekeeping) is a billion Euros industry. According to the European Commission, 650,000 beekeepers in the EU generate an annual value added of 1.4 billion Euros, with their 18 million beehives. More importantly apiculture contributes to a total amount of at least 24 billion Euros delivered by pollination to EU agriculture. Successful apiculture attracts beehive theft and vandalism.

We are developing a disruptive, scalable, smart anti-theft system with AI-based service software to protect beehives. The innovative system is based on a GPS-tracker that reports unusual movement (=theft or vandalism) identified by our AI-software. GPS-trackers are nothing new. They are hardly never used for beekeeping though as a result of their unsatisfactory user interface (SIM cards have to be purchased with tariff independently, the provided software is often not compatible and/or user friendly). Besides the GPS-trackers are unreliable in their performance (short battery times and frequent false alarms) and do not detect vandalism, since the beehives location is not changed.

With BeeSafe we are developing a different product. Intelligent technology enables our anti-theft system to operate in zero-energy-mode until theft or vandalism occurs. AI compares unusual movement with past user patterns and mitigates false alarms. Smart services include SIM cards, access to a service platform that will manage alarms and contact the responsible authorities in the future. We will create a new market by providing a plug-and-protect solution at greatly reduced production- and environmental costs due to dramatically reduced battery sizes. The conducted SME Instrument Phase I project was a first successful step in protecting beehives using modern day technology.
As part of this project we conducted a market analysis, determined customer pain points/willingness to pay, conducted additional field trials that simulated theft and vandalism and lastly prepared a comprehensive business plan for further use. Results were exploited and disseminated mainly through the participation in several start-up competitions such as the German preliminary round of IPIEC GLOBAL in Frankfurt.
The project already had a number of positive societal effects that are hard to quantify. Most notably a number of partnerships with other organizations from industry and academia in over half a dozen EU countries could be initiated that will help making beehive protection a reality in the near future.
Graphical Abstract - Summary of the BeeSafe Product