“If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live” a prediction, never scientifically confirmed and attributed to Albert Einstein which, however, turns the spotlight on the very important role played by bees in preserving biodiversity. According to estimates by FAO – United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization – bees are responsible for 80% of fruit and vegetable production and 50% of the world’s biodiversity.
To understand how much the reduction of bee colonies, due to climate change, the use of pesticides and because of pests and diseases is an emergency, a study by Radboud University and the Entomological Society Krefeld highlighted how pollinating insects, in almost 30 years, they have decreased by 70%, with a consequent reduction in honey production. According to data released by Coldiretti, in the last year, due to climatic anomalies, the production of honey in Italy has been halved.
Hence the initiative of 3Bee (3bee.it), startup founded by Niccolò Calandri and Riccardo Balzaretti to allow people and companies to adopt a beehive to help repopulate the Planet of this insect essential for biodiversity, allowing beekeepers to to increase the production of honey and therefore to continue to carry out one’s profession.
“I believe that the beekeeper is a hero of our times” – affirms Niccolò Calandri, CEO of 3Bee “his job must be protected because it is fundamental to guarantee the survival of bees and, therefore, to preserve the planet’s biodiversity. The “adopt a beehive” initiative was created to give value to his work, to enhance the community in which he lives and to offer a service to anyone who cares about biodiversity and the environment “.
A doctorate in electronic engineering from MIT in Boston and a collaborative experience with NASA for Niccolò, a doctorate in biology obtained abroad and an experience as a beekeeper beekeeper for Riccardo: two professional paths that have allowed the two founders to develop their first Hive Tech product, a sort of beehive 3.0 which consists of a network of ioT sensors which, positioned inside the beehive, monitor the well-being of bees allowing beekeepers to reduce treatments, decrease visits to the beehive ‘apiary and lower Co2 emissions, thus improving the quality of life of bees.
3Bee has created a network of 2,000 beekeepers throughout Italy where it has installed its sensors and around 10,000 adopters. Those who decide to adopt a beehive – private or business – access the online platform, choose the type of honey, the beekeeper who will take care of the bees, the quantity of flowers they want to pollinate, the biodiversity they want to create and can follow online l ‘evolution. At the end of the bee season, he will be able to receive 100% artisanal honey produced by his bees.
Since 2018, the year of its foundation, 3Bee has achieved important milestones obtaining international recognitions and certifications: the 3Bee Hi Tech hive has in fact been included in the list drawn up by Solar Impulse Foundation of the thousand solutions worldwide for environmental sustainability and has obtained from the European Community funding for EMS Instrument for research and innovation activities.
Today 15 people work in the company located in the offices of Milan, Naples and Como and, for 2020, the idea of 3Bee is to double the number of employees. “This year we would like to be able to visit all the beekeepers who have adopted our systems and to tell together the stories of the heroes who work with bees, their problems, their needs.”