Despite an unattributed quote, Albert Einstein is said to have worried about the future of humans if bees were to disappear. Whether through the use of neonicotinoids and climate change, the observation is there: colonies are decreasing and yields are decreasing. At 19, the Rouennais Paul Michel took the subject head-on. Amateur beekeeper with his father, the second year student in Biology, Chemistry, Physics & Earth Sciences at Lycée Corneille and at the start of the school year, engineering student at AgroParisTech school, has just won the “Innovate” Science and Life Trophy Junior of April 2021 and won the 3rd annual place thanks to a connected beehive. An endowment of 1,000 euros allows her to continue developing towards understanding the queen’s song.
Sensitized to the questions of nutrition in the future, handyman, the young beekeeper was quickly confronted with the problems of the breeding of bees, “in particular the mortality of the colonies during the winter. We have six beehives scattered throughout the Rouen Normandy Metropolis. In 2018, three died. At the time, we did not understand why. In addition, it was frustrating not being able to follow life in the hive during this period ”.
So, following practical work at college for the creation of self-watering flowerpots or even alarm clocks for the blind, digital technology once again came to its aid: “I first designed a drawer to change. the tools to simplify handling without disturbing the swarm. Then, I integrated an on-board electronic system to monitor temperatures and hydrometry. These are the first indicators. Everything is powered by a solar panel, because it is rare to find an outlet near a beehive. With an antenna placed inside, information is sent regularly to the beekeeper who can thus react if necessary. It is also eco-responsible, because he does not have to travel for nothing, ”explains Paul Michel.
An app and alerts
At the moment, users collect the data on a website. Tomorrow, “they will have a dedicated app with alerts. It will have other elements such as the weight of the hive, again a symptom of good or bad health. I am also working on the integration of a sound sensor because the bees communicate on particular frequencies, in particular the queen who warns of swarming or the resumption of laying. On the outside, it could also make it possible to know the attacks of Asian hornets. Bees emit at 300 hertz. At 600 hertz, it’s the alert! “
Paul Michel also wants to use technology to fight against the Var, a deadly parasite for bees in order to avoid chemical treatment or even solutions to improve the yield of which he wishes to keep the secret. From a generation born with social networks, the inventor informed of the progress of his work as and when his page Facebook, Beelinked. Immediately, beekeepers reacted and wanted to order the equipment. Except that it is too early “because it is still being validated. The tests are conclusive, but I have to go through a phase of industrialization in order to have the best price. Afterwards, I would launch a start-up with my father. The adventure is not over ”, rejoices Paul Michel.