As of 2020, there were roughly 94 million beehives around the world, with more than 600 thousand beekeepers (both commercial and hobbyist) in the EU alone. When you consider the huge stress bees have been under due to a number of often interrelated causes (pesticides, habitat destruction, nutrition deficit, air pollution, climate change) the growing number of beekeepers is great news. But that great news is tempered by other, less great news: in the US alone, beekeepers lost 45.5% of their managed honeybee colonies between April 2020 and April 2021, the second highest loss rate since 2006. Given that pollinators contribute directly to food security, it’s clear that more needs to be done to ensure eco-diversity. This is where Beezum comes in. The Swedish startup’s solution uses IoT technology to connect beehives, giving beekeepers and new and better way of understanding what is happening inside their hives.
Olle Källström, CEO and Founder of Beezum, has been a hobbyist beekeeper for two years. While he keeps his hives at his summer house in the Västervik archipelago, he lives in Stockholm, so going back and forth to tend to his beehives can be a challenge. In the summer of 2021, he was busy with family and other commitments and thus unable to get out to his summer house as often as he normally would. That’s when he got a call that would prove to be the initial trigger for a new business.
“My neighbour out in the archipelago called and said my bees were swarming,” explains Olle Källström. “I had to drop everything and rush out there to catch the bee swarm. This made me realize I needed some kind of tool to monitor the hives when I couldn’t be there in person. I also wanted to learn more about my bees and hives because bees are important to the whole ecosystem.