This smart urban beehive monitors air quality

Called B-Box, it was created by Beeing, an Italian startup. It is designed to protect bees and digitalize beekeeping, with a particular focus on the city.

Bees are important. Bees are in danger. Man’s fate on this planet is directly tied to the fate of bees. This is something that has been repeated countless times for over 20 years, from when bees began dying suddenly, in an almost mysterious and unexplainable way. In fact, Douglas Coupland, the godfather of Generation X, dedicated a novel to a future time when bees will be extinct, and the final episode of the third season of the famous dystopian series Black Mirror is set in a world where insects-drones have replaced bees. Numerous documentaries are devoted to this topic (Vanishing of the Bees, More than Honey, etc.)

In 2017, and thanks to a beekeeper grandfather, Beeing and B-Box were born: the urban beehive that this year also appeared at CES. The inventors are Roberto Pasi (founder) and Gabriele Garavini (co-founder), two young men who met during a University of Bologna start-up accelerator programme. Then in 2018, a business angel allowed them “to go from dream to reality,” states Pasi. The following year: a Kickstarter campaign. Beeing’s aim is to safeguard bees, digitalise beekeeping, focus on digital sensors for beekeepers (Bee Internet), and highlight the role of urban beekeeping in creating sustainable cities.

Through bees and their honey, air quality can be monitored and tested. “We integrated these elements into a sustainable project with high social and environmental impact, calling it City of well-beeing”, explains Pasi. A project that includes the addition of two smart B-Box beehives in Venice, with Venice Calls, a young non-profit born to protect the lagoon’s ecosystem. In the lagoon the presence of bees will be restored by a hub that spreads city beekeeping while controlling pollution – bees cover a diameter of 6 km from the hive as they fly around. And there are other projects for Rome and Milan, explains Pasi. The challenge? “Adapting the Beeing project across Italy, but also abroad, where there is great awareness of bees both privately and publicly”.

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