The Internet of Bees has been expanding its network around Europe since its beginning. It has developed workshops in Málaga and Murcia (Spain), in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region (France), and Piacenza (Italy), plus its inclusion in presentations during major events such as the Bee Week at the European Parliament or the IoT Solutions World Congress. The event has now reached a new frontier by arriving in Romania. The project celebrated this milestone by developing a workshop during the Beecome beekeeping congress which took place in Blaj on March 22-24.

In a joint effort with organisers of the Beecome congress, IoBee has marked its arrival to Romania by presenting and gathering feedback from Romanian and European beekeepers. During the workshop, project partner and speaker Dr Huw Evans introduced the advantages of digital monitoring to beekeeping. Participants also expressed a certain uncertainty regarding the application of technology to beekeeping but leaving room for growth as new applications become more accessible, user-friendly and trustworthy.

The workshop took place during a heavily charged day of Beecome, which included the participation of special guest, Member of the European Parliament, Daciana Sarbu, who emphasised the importance of beekeeping and bees in Romania and Europe. Besides, Romanian beekeepers realised a stunt to claim for better conditions for their bees, calling for changes from unsustainable practices that are negatively affecting bees and pollinators.

MEP Daciana Sarbu at Beecome 2019

In a moment where solutions are needed, IoBee presented its developments as a pedestal to succeed in improving conditions for bees in Europe. Thanks to digital monitoring, paired with satellite imaging, the project is aiming towards an unprecedented collaboration between technology and beekeeping. In particular, IoBee speaker, Dr Evans, mentioned the importance of the cooperation with beekeepers and beekeeping associations. IoBee is increasingly improving its collaboration with expert beekeepers to tailor the project to their needs better and to enhance its developments.

Beekeepers protest during Beecome 2019

After its workshop during Beecome, IoBee will now start field tests in Romania, where beekeepers face significant challenges due to intoxication levels. In Romania, beekeepers continuously protest the emergency authorisations of three neonicotinoid-based products used in crops that have European authorities have found to be harmful to bees. In this context, in cooperation with Romanian beekeeping association Romapis, the developments of IoBee will be put to the test, applying monitoring technology to intoxication cases.

Field tests will be done in the hope to shed some more light on the recurrent issue that beekeepers manifest and to improve IoBee’s developments, shaping it to be a fundamental tool towards improving protection of bees and improving their conditions.