A bit of a sweet buzz about the future of beekeeping

The ancient art of beekeeping and keeping bees happy and healthy has had a technological breakthrough. On2it Electronics in Kerikeri, recipient of this year’s Top Energy’s $30k Business Development Fund, have devised a simple technology to help apiarists care for their bee colonies during winter.

Daniel Inglis, the man behind On2It Electronics, says it was when his cousin expressed how frustrating this time of year could be for beekeepers, that the idea for an electronic hive monitoring and automation product was germinated.

“Taking care of bees can be a manual, time consuming and often laborious process, complicated by the remote location of many hives.”

“We put our heads together and came up with AutoBee, an electronic way to save the beekeeper time in the field, bees from unnecessary stress and ultimately increase the amount of honey they produce.”

Inglis is on to something.

Apiculture is one of the foundations blocks of the community in Northland. The upper North Island has the largest number of beekeeping enterprises in New Zealand and the second highest number of hives in the North Island.

Bees are an important part of the economy in the Far North and Inglis believes AutoBee is a game changer because no other systems exist here or overseas, to monitor or control hives in this way.

The Top Energy Business Development Fund will help Daniel to develop a working prototype into marketable units that will grow their market and generate employment in the region.

Top Energy Chief Executive Russell Shaw commends the innovation and commitment of local businesses and entrepreneurs to maximise the talent and potential of the Far North.

“On2it’s business plan, vision for their product and the apiculture industry in the Far North, made their application stand out from the rest. As a community owned business, it is a privilege for Top Energy to assist in supporting local businesses to achieve success and growth.”

Top Energy launched their Business Development Fund in 2014. The scheme is designed to encourage and promote economic growth in the Far North. Grants of up to $30,000 are awarded twice a year for local business ideas or initiatives that have the potential to grow or diversify the Far North economy.

The money is either awarded in full to a single stand-out idea or in smaller amounts to several initiatives, depending on the number, quality and merit of the applications received.

For more information on the business development fund go to:

www.topenergy.co.nz/sponsorship/business-development-fund

For more information about On2it Electronics go to: www.on2itelectronics.co.nz

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For more information contact: Philippa White, 021 2418740

Top Energy, which is owned by the people of the Far North, is committed to providing a reliable and resilient electricity network which keeps abreast of evolving technologies such as localised generation, solar power, and micro grids. Over the last decade its $170 million investment programme has involved substantial improvements to the network which now has an asset value of $250 million – up from $128 million when the programme started in 2009.  This investment programme will continue. Over the next decade, the Group will invest a further $350 million to ensure our customers continue to receive a high quality and secure supply of power through local generation and a resilient network.