AgriSound in talks with big businesses in bid to save bees

Casey Woodwood's bid to protect bees through his fledgling business could have far-reaching benefits.

AgriSound uses smart sensors to monitor sound in beehives and collects the data to reveal what is going on inside the colony to help protect the hive.


Through its products and analytical tools, AgriSound strives to better understand the factors causing the bee population decline and support beekeepers and crop growers manage pollinators which are vital to food production.

Beekeepers, farmers and researchers have already expressed interest in harnessing the data for predicting changes to UK bee numbers. Founder Casey launched AgriSound in York in January, initially focusing on honey bees. He is now looking to grow the team of four as the business develops.

AgriSound is building on the wealth of agri-tech expertise in and around York, which is home to the National Bee Unit.

The 29-year-old said: "We have got our core product line all developed and we are starting to retail that. We have made some sales to places like St Lucia and West Africa as well as the UK. "We are now trying to look at wild bees as well as honey bees to understand how we can improve pollinator numbers.

"The brilliant thing with sound is it is so cheap to record, and we can pick up lots of things. Bees make lots of different noises, depending what the colony is up to. We can tell how strong the hive is; if they stop going out of the hive as much; if they have a disease; if the temperature is not right. We want to use sound to better understand agriculture."

Highlighting the importance of bees and insect pollination on food crops, Casey said the decline of bees would have a big economic impact.

"We want to try to create a product that is cheap, that everyone can have in their gardens. The idea is that all the data we collect has value to the government who want to implement new policies with post-Brexit for protecting bees, and it has value to other parts of the agriculture supply chain. "We service amateur bee keepers through to big corporate farms and we are just starting to work with big chemical pesticide companies so they know when to spray.

"York is such a great place for agri-tech businesses. There so much on the doorstep; every type of farming you could imagine. Yorkshire is home to lots of different livestock farming and crop production. For smaller companies trying to set up there's so much support available and multinational partnerships that can help us."

The AgriSound team also includes science director, Heather Sanders, an experienced pollination scientist; operations manager and resident bee keeper Samantha Jackson and Callum Pheby, graphics experts.

Source: The York Press