A team of MSFEA students, Karim Samaha, Dimitri Saad, Yves Daoud, and Ramzi Haddad, led by MSFEA's Dr. Naseem Daher and FAFS' Dr. Rami Ollaik, developed a smart device that assists beekeepers in remotely monitoring their beehives. HiveMate have won the first place prize in the AUB Accelerator program and received a $20,000 grant to further develop the startup and take it to the next level. Students used the FAFS hives for testing purposes. Dr. Ollaik will also offer the students assistance to induce swarming intentionally in the coming months to further test and refine the product.
The main advantage of the HiveMate device is that it is capable of preventing swarming, a natural process where a large group of honeybees leaves their colony due to the emergence of a new queen prior to 12 days as well as detecting other phenomena. HiveMate is non-intrusive and easy to install on any existing beehive. It keeps track of the beehive's health conditions and notifies the user of any abnormality. The beekeeper can also monitor the flow of honeybees at the entrance and their activity inside live from the comfort of his home through the use of the software app coupled with the hardware device. Computer vision, mechatronics, and machine learning were combined to deliver this tiny intelligent and innovative device. For the average commercial beekeeper, Hivemate saves an average of 70 days of manual labor, in addition to financial savings estimated at 20,000$ if swarming is left to occur naturally.
The class of Apiculture with its interdisciplinary nature has been encouraging students from all over AUB faculties to be involved in its activities and get the chance to get exposed to the unique and rich world of bees and beekeeping.
FAFS is proud to be the pioneers in this field in Lebanon and the region since the launching of the honeybee lab on campus since 2000.
Watch a brief about HiveMate project here.