[ 20 February/ The New Zealand Farmers Weekly]

IT expert turned beekeeper and BuzzTech director, Julian McCurdy has created a software solution that gives apiarists the option to include high-quality sensors and monitors into their hive colonies, making it easier to track thousands of hives typically spanning hundreds of kilometres. The software creates the potential over time to understand individual hive productivity, bee health and identify biosecurity risks. McCurdy also noted that the technology could use Bluetooth to create a “mesh” network of the hives into a single hub device, allowing beekeepers to identify missing hives. Beekeepers can also capture honey harvest data per hive and over time identify the geographical areas producing the greatest volumes. The varroa epidemic has also risen as an opportunity for the BuzzTech software system to keep unwanted bees out by using audio and temperature sensors. McCurdy noted that he hoped the software would set transparency and assurance standards for the beehive trade.