Photograph shows Casey Woodward and operations manager, Samantha Jackson
Photograph shows Casey Woodward and operations manager, Samantha Jackson.

Expansion for Yorkshire beekeeping tech specialist with new workers

A York company specialising in remote beehive management has set sights to increase its team from five to 20 over the next 18 months.

Agrisound, founded by Dr. Casey Woodward in 2020, will add 15 new staff to its team, which focuses on expanding agricultural sensor technology into the world of beekeeping.

This precision management approach utilises ‘smart hive’ technology to sense and analyse humidity, temperature and hive weight, then sends the data by 3/4G to the keeper.

Remote sensor systems can be valuable to both hobbyists who may have taken up beekeeping during lockdown and professional apiarists working with pollinator bees in potentially isolated locations.

Dr. Woodward explained: “For people using bees for pollination, early detection of changes can lead to quicker treatment. And quicker treatment leads to healthier pollinator numbers.

“And if you think that without pollinators, bees, butterflies, moths and other bugs, we’d lose more than 70 per cent of all food crops, you can see why their welfare is so important.”

Based in York, Agrisound is already supplying equipment to buyers as far afield as the US, Australia, Saint Lucia and mainland Europe. The company also has its sights set on developing new technology systems aiding sustainable agricultural practice.

“In the long term, we see ourselves as a pollinator brand, also working with wild bees, and not just a brand for beekeepers,” said Dr. Woodward.

“If you can improve pollination and improve yields and have less need for herbicides and pesticides, you can actually go a long way towards alleviating poverty and hunger.”

Agrisound has received funding from various sources, including AD:VENTURE, a provider of grants for fledgeling businesses in North and West Yorkshire, and Innovate UK through the Sustainable Innovation Fund.

Andrew Waller, executive member for economy and strategic planning at City of York Council, said: “It’s really exciting to see a home-grown business working on ideas that could change lives around the world.

“It shows that giving support to early stage businesses can really make a difference, not just to the business, but the local economy and even further afield.”

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