It takes a bee to make a tree. Or rather, to have a great variety of vegetation, the role of pollinating animals such as bees is crucial. Unfortunately, bees, due to multiple factors such as the consequences of climate change, diseases and bacteria, extreme urbanization, the spread of pesticides and monocultures, are increasingly in danger, which endangers the biodiversity of this planet, that is so beautiful and precious.
The meeting with 3Bee
For these reasons, when we met 3Bee we immediately fell in love with it. We were at the beginning of a journey that is leading us to become aware of the environmental impact of what we do. And they presented themselves as a possible solution.
3Bee is a so-called climate tech, a company dedicated to the development of technologies for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Since its foundation, 3Bee has been involved in creating projects and services for the protection of biodiversity and therefore to combat climate change.
A company born a few years ago from the skills of two childhood friends, Niccolò Calandri and Riccardo Balzaretti, who, after expatriating to perfect their educational training – one a researcher at NASA, the other a biologist studying in the United Kingdom – met to find a solution to the worrying death of bees in Riccardo’s hive. They have developed a technology to monitor the state of health of the hive: some sensors detect the weight, temperature, humidity and the sound produced inside the hive, and from this data it is possible to evaluate the well-being of the swarm.
The system has been gradually perfected and today it is a kit – called Hive-Tech – that can be easily used by any beekeeper, who can check the health of their bees using a special app and intervene accordingly.
300,000 bees, 300 million pollinations
3Bee had the idea of having this technological upgrade financed for beekeepers, making it possible for individuals and companies to adopt a hive equipped with the technology they developed. Beehives in Italy selected by 3Bee, are divided by location and plant variety preferred by bees, and so affect the quality of honey produced. Yes, because whoever adopts a beehive is also sweetly rewarded with a portion of the honey production at the end of the season. The Proaudio group has decided to adopt a swarm of 300,000 bees, which should guarantee 300 million pollinations in a year: more or less. A number that seems enormous but in reality represents the classic drop in the ocean.
Sustainable impact generated
3Bee, however, has, in the meanwhile, expanded its activities. In addition to adopting a hive already equipped with monitoring technology, today it’s activities allow you to build a company apiary and also provide for the planting of woods to compensate for the lack of nectariferous trees, with the relative calculation of the sustainable impact generated. In fact, each planted forest has one hundred nectariferous trees and absorbs about 8.6 tons of CO2 in a year. These actions have an impact on a company’s social balance sheet and towards which, also for this reason, we look with great interest for the future.
The hive must also ‘sound good’
Just as we are also intrigued by the acoustic aspect of monitoring, i.e. the fact that from the sound produced by the swarm inside the hive it is possible to determine the conditions of its’ well-being.
The queen bee increases the frequencies of its’ buzz when it is laying the larvae, the hive that emits frequent sharp peaks is in alarm and about to swarm elsewhere. In short, even the hive is an environment that must sound good, like the hives we deal with, and listening says many things to the 3Bee agronomists, who convert this information into useful instructions for beekeepers. The sensors that record the sound of the hive are well camouflaged and made of biocompatible materials, so as not to disturb the activity of the swarm in any way.
Unfortunately, the condition of swarms in Italy and around the world is critical, and projects like 3Bee’s don’t have the power to remedy the situation. Fortunately, honey bees are not endangered, above all thanks to the work of beekeepers.. Bees remain an important bioindicator for understanding the health of our planet. Protecting and monitoring them means limiting as much as possible the damage caused by the climate crisis and, even more so, by environmental pollution.
And, more generally, for us it is a matter of acquiring awareness of the environmental impact of our activity and of looking for ways to compensate for it. We are at the beginning of a road that we are pleased to share with a company like 3Bee.