Students at University College Cork (UCC) have won a global competition for their project which uses smart technology to help the plight of honey bees.
Five students created the energy-neutral smart beehive, which can track the activity of the bee colony and conditions within the hive at any time.
The UCC pilot project uses big data, mobile technology, wireless sensor networks and cloud computing to look at the impact of factors such as: carbon dioxide, oxygen, temperature, humidity, chemical pollutants and airborne dust levels on the honey bees, using solar panels for an energy neutral operation.
The data which is stored inside an active beehive is protected by both traditional methods of cryptography, as well as by the bees themselves.
This research will also allow bee keepers to monitor their beehives at times which would have been difficult before, such as during the night, during heavy rain or in winter.
UCC’s winning project was titled ‘(2B) OR!(2B): From the beehive to the cloud and back’ and used a Boolean theme which was also inspired by Shakespeare.
President of UCC, Michael Murphy, said that Boole’s theories of logic and probability are as powerful now as they were in 1800s.
“I am delighted that his work has inspired our current students to create novel solutions to an urgent global problem and helped them win an international competition in the process.”
UCC had to compete with the likes of MIT/Boston University (2nd) and TU Delft in the Netherlands (3rd) at the IEEE/IBM Smarter Planet Challenge 2014.
The Director of Embedded Systems Group at UCC, Dr Emanuel Popovici, described the project to be one where bee keeping practices meet with the latest advances in electronic technologies.
“It is a project where five very bright and enthusiastic students from three disciplines interact and exchange some brilliant ideas to help humanity”.