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TMC Employeneur Awards: Hive Monitoring system ‘bRemote’ wins the Golden Employeneurs Award

In 2016, Employeneurs Pieter Jansen, Ferdinand Hendriks, Bob Peters and Andrei Toacsen participated in the TMC Masterclass to improve their knowledge and skills. One of the assignments during this Masterclass was to develop an innovation based on both technology and a realistic business case. The team decided to dive into the world of beekeeping, and they created a solution that makes the work of beekeepers more efficient. ‘bRemote’, as the team called their project, was recently recognised with the Golden Employeneurs Award for their promising work.

“When we started the TMC Masterclass last year, our main goal was to broaden our knowledge and skills – not knowing this would lead to the project it has become,” Pieter, one of the team members of bRemote tells. “At that time, none of us had experience in or knowledge of beekeeping. It was the father-in-law of one of our team members who inspired us to explore the potential of this field. His personal story of being a beekeeper in his spare time, and the challenges he faces, gave us the idea to develop an innovative system to improve the efficiency of beekeeping.”

“In our project we wanted to find a solution that would help protect bee colonies and streamline the work of beekeepers.” 

Because the Masterclass is set up around the idea of developing both technological and business skills, the four dedicated Employeneurs started their project by researching the beekeeping market, to determine the relevance of their work. “We discovered that bees are the main insect pollinators and therefore extremely important for our food production,” Pieter explains. “However, the colonies’ health can be problematic. The traditional way of checking for colony health is very time consuming and very inefficient. Also, moving the beehives is difficult, due to the limited time that all the bees are in the hive together. Unhealthy colonies are a real threat to our worldwide food production. In our project, we wanted to find a solution that would help protect bee colonies and streamline the work of beekeepers.”

 

Hive monitoring system

Every week, for over a year, the team gathered to work on their project. Pieter: “During the first months, we contacted a professional beekeeper in The Netherlands. He became our first client. Having a real client helped us to develop a product that meets the practical needs of beekeepers. Moreover, we used his feedback to improve our ideas. This enabled us to develop an innovative system that can be placed in the entrance of the hive to monitor the bees’ activity. In this way, the status of the colony can be easily checked: the system provides the activity status of the bee colony online. This makes flexible scheduling for relocation possible. Therefore the work of the beekeeper becomes easier to carry out and better pollination results are assured.”


Going for success

Last December, the team presented their results at the TMC E3 event, and at the AgriFoodTech Event. The responses from the audience were very positive. This encouraged the team to develop the system further. “The next step was to get funding to create a working prototype,” Pieter tells. “After we pitched our ideas, the TMC Board Member Group wanted to support our project. This enabled us to develop and introduce our first prototype last May. At the moment, we are testing this prototype with our client. After we have gathered all the test data, we will decide how and when to launch our first product on the market – something we are all looking forward to! Of course, the project takes a lot of our free time, because we work on it alongside our full-time jobs with clients. However, we are motivated to make bRemote into a success. Even Bob, who lives in Singapore, is still involved in the project. This shows how much we are willing to go for it. Winning the Golden Employeneurs Award is an extra motivation to continue our project and make it a success. It is a great reward of our entrepreneurial spirit and shows that TMC has faith in us, our work and bRemote.”

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