Hamilton based startup MyApiary, which develops IT solutions for the beekeeping industry, has scored investment from Gallagher, Hamilton based web design and hosting company NetValue and other investors. (Its website also lists Soda, a “founder focused incubator” as a partner).
The company says the — unspecified — investment, its first capital raising, has come at an opportune time: it is nearing the commercial release of its operations management system for beekeepers that has been developed in partnership with several beekeeping businesses in New Zealand.
“This means MyApiary can add more resource behind several other innovative and smart technology products designed to benefit beekeeping businesses,” the company said.
This includes a hive monitoring system that transmits data on the state of a beehive into the operations management software. According to MyApiary “The hardware and software products work together as a complete business intelligence ecosystem which provides beekeepers a rich and comprehensive decision making tool.
“The development project has recently gained a $100,000 grant from Agricultural Marketing Research and Development Trust (Agmardt) and sees a number of senior members of the beekeeping community collaborating to develop the product.”
The MyApiary website details three products: MyApiary Manager, MyApiary HiveTracker and MyApiary HiveMonitor. The HiveTracker comprises a GPS tracker that can be hidden in a hive and that will provide its location to a Smartphone app.
Crime has become a major problem in New Zealand thanks to growing demand in overseas market for Manuka honey, according to a report in the Guardian in November 2016. “On the back of the boom, hive thefts, vandalism and poisonings have become standard fare, with every beekeeper interviewed for this article the victim of one or more serious crimes,” The Guardian reported.
Meanwhile bee populations around the world are under threat from pesticides, intensive agriculture and the Varroa mite. In Australia the CSIRO has fitted bees with tiny transducers that are able to communicate with a device on the hive that records the bees’ entries and exits and relays the information to a remote location for analysis.