“Amohive”, a Ukrainian-Polish “IT apiary” project has both an educational and scientific mission, which the USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) supports.
Currently, the technology-centered apiary consists of 10 experimental polypropylene hives equipped with solar panels and sensors that a beekeeper can control from a smartphone. The information from the sensors is transmitted to the server and from there to the phone. Through a mobile application, one can check the temperature in the hive, moisture, real-time weight, and the amount of honey collected, and there is also a GPS navigator function. A team of specialists from Ukraine and Poland developed such a hive, and the patent for their invention was filed in Ukraine.
Aleksandra Kurdina, co-creator of the “Amohive” project, said that in May 2023, these hives were populated by bee families of three breeds – Ukrainska stepova, Karpatka, and Karnika. Now, they monitor the bees’ behavior at the apiary and, if necessary, they can regulate the temperature and humidity in the hive, as these indicators affect the incidence of bee diseases and, consequently, the result of their work – the amount of honey collected.
“Ukraine collects a lot of honey every year because it has an excellent climate for this. Thousands of beekeepers are involved in this business, but everything that happens in apiaries is as it was in the 19th century. We tried to modernize the process – to combine IT and beekeeping in order to facilitate the work of the beekeeper, to provide access to information about the processes taking place in the hive itself, in order to respond to them in time. Now, there are 10 experimental hives. Our project requires a lot of observations and research, and so we will be happy to cooperate with schoolchildren and students and spread the ideas of IT-centered beekeeping”, says Kurdina.
Kurdina is also inviting educators and scientists to cooperate with them. Professors and postgraduate students of the ERA-supported Volodymyr Dahl East Ukrainian National University (V. Dahl EUNU) have already expressed their readiness to join the research and offered ideas on what other indicators could be added to the beehive sensors.
“Bees can be used in various fields. For example, at a man-made object, to find out whether it is safe for a person to be there. Such a smart hive can be placed near such objects, and we observe the behavior of bees to make decisions that are safe for humans. Other sensors can be added to the proposed sensors to collect more information that is important in a certain location. The students and I would like to participate in such research,” said Vadym Tarasov, Dean of the Faculty of Human Health,V. Dahl EUNU.
Snizhana Leu-Severynenko, the ERA Senior Manager of Workforce Development noted that such an “IT apiary’ is an interesting and innovative idea that will help develop several courses in the future – for schoolchildren, students of vocational and higher education institutions. ERA is working with businesses in order to provide employment opportunities for youth in particular, which will ensure long-term results for Ukraine.
“The world is changing rapidly. We should already be talking about the professions of the future. IT-centered beekeeping is one of them” says Leu-Severynenko.