Beekeeping is one of the oldest industries in existence, but it faces numerous threats. A number of tech firms hope to help the honey bee have a brighter future. Noah Wilson-Rich, chief scientific officer of US firm Best Bees Company, says it is distressing how many American honey bee colonies, or hives as they are otherwise known, die off every year.

His Boston firm installs hives on commercial and residential properties – everywhere from roof tops to back gardens. Its staff then use an advanced software system to monitor and record the health of all the bee colonies.

The data is shared with researchers at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to help them better understand the plight of the insects. Best Bees, which is paid by the homeowners and businesses, also harvests and bottles the honey for them to keep.

“We are looking at why thriving beehives live,” says Mr Wilson-Rich. “We need to understand why they’re doing better. With that research data we can get wonderful benefits… it is telling us how the bees are actually doing.”

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