|Title||PURPLE HIVE PROJECT|
|Product / Service||BEGA B HONEY|
|Category||G01. Tangible Tech|
|Entrant||THINKERBELL Melbourne, AUSTRALIA|
|Idea Creation||THINKERBELL Melbourne, AUSTRALIA|
|Adam Ferrier||Thinkerbell||Chief Thinker|
|Ben Couzens||Thinkerbell||Chief Creative Tinker|
|Tom Wenborn||Thinkerbell||Executive Creative Tinker|
|Nikia Shepherd||Thinkerbell||Head Thinker|
|Tarah Miller||Thinkerbell||Lead Thinker|
|Sam Butcher||Thinkerbell||Lead Brand Thinker|
|Cale Berry||Thinkerbell||Creative Tinker|
|Katie Ayling||Thinkerbell||Production Tinker|
|Dillon Bailey||Honest Fox||Production|
|Linda Bailey||Honest Fox||Production|
As Australia is the only continent on the planet without Varroa mite, there has never been a need for similar technology. The Purple Hive Project needed to be built from the ground up, for Australian conditions and Australian bees. It also needed to be able to do all computing at the device so as to save power as the device is powered by solar. The budget for the innovation came from the marketing department, rather than spending $160,000aud on an advertising campaign Bega (client) chose to spend it on developing a solution for the biggest problem the honey industry was facing.
In 2020, Bega Foods entered the Honey market, working with us to co-create the product, packaging and product from the ground up. The result is B Honey, a sustainable honey brand built off the platform “It all starts with a Bee”. Everything the brand does will support bees and their environment before all else. Through workshops, stakeholder interviews and field research we identified the biggest threat facing Australian bees… Varroa mite. The global bee industry is under threat from a small yet devastating parasite, the Varroa Mite, which is decimating bee colonies around the world and is a leading cause of colony collapse disorder. Currently Australia is the only inhabited continent on earth without Varroa Mite, and to keep it that way the Australian Government invests millions of dollars into a manual, time consuming monitoring at high risk ports around the country.
Over 2 years we developed The Purple Hive Project, a solar powered beehive that uses A.I computer vision to detect Varroa Mite without the need for manual checks. The hive works by scanning each individual bee that enters the hive. The algorithm can tell the difference between a healthy bee and a bee carrying the microscopic Varroa Mite. If a mite is found an alert is sent to the relevant authority and the outbreak can be immediately contained. A single prototype was created as a proof of concept before commencing production on 8 hives to be placed around the country at high-risk ports.
The Purple Hive Project immediately garnered international attention with consumers and the bee industry, reaching more than 45 million. It drove B Honey from 0 to 10% market share without spending a dollar on marketing, but more importantly the Purple Hive Project was adopted by The Department of Agriculture and is being used as part of Australia’s bio-security monitoring system to protect not only B Honey’s honey supply, but the entire agriculture industry.