Hostabee, connected beekeeping

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Hostabee takes off. The start-up created by Maxime Mularz gained notoriety beyond the borders of Hauts-de-France thanks to its multi-award winning innovation: the connected hive.

Providing beekeepers with real-time data on the life of bees inside their hives. That’s the concept developed by Maxime Mularz, a professor of mathematics fond of computer science.

The history of his connected hives began behind the scenes of the agricultural college of Aumont, in Coucy-la-Ville (02). The inventor became friends with the establishment’s beekeepers. These professionals, who spend the whole year looking after their bees, shared with him their passion for their work, but also shared the problems they encountered: colony losses due to the harsh climate, poor swarm health, hive thefts…

An idea then began to germinate in the mind of Maxime Mularz: to create a connected module that would remotely monitor the life of the hive. “Such a system did not yet exist. It would quickly prove very useful for beekeepers”, explains the start-uper. “I started working on this connected hive project in close collaboration with the beekeepers. So I created Hostabee as a result.

In the heart of the swarm

Over the months, the budding inventor perfected his idea, fine-tuned his project, and developed his first prototypes. Accompanied in his approach by Faubourg Numérique, in Saint-Quentin, he obtained initial finance – via a call for projects – from the European Union. There then followed assistance from the Region to have the concept of a connected hive looked into by a design office.

The design office validated the concept and gave me the extra energy to see my project through to the end“, Maxime Mularz continues. “Today, our start-up involves three people. The system we have developed can be installed in any type of hive because it is positioned between two sections of the colony. It measures in real time the humidity and temperature within the hive, using meteorological data to optimise the work of the beekeeper. And it is, of course, completely harmless to the bees.

Viva Las Vegas!

These connected hives, 100% made in Hauts-de-France, are now exported internationally. Hostabee was first entered in a contest organised by FrenchTech. The result: Maxime Mularz’s company featured in the top 5 of the 60 competing start-ups. A distinction that allowed the young entrepreneur access to the DLD Innovation Festival in Tel Aviv. In Israel, Maxime became a new sensation and won first prize at the show. An accolade that took the man from Saint-Quentin straight to the Consumer Electronic Show, the world’s largest consumer electronics show, in Las Vegas!

Maxime Mularz really did not expect this success story, which firmly placed Hostabee among France’s major start-ups in the making. “In Las Vegas, I was able to make contact with multiple new customers, and that’s not all”, he says, a little overwhelmed by the enthusiasm that surrounds his innovation. “Hostabee will now install its bee monitoring module in Google’s hives, at Mountain View, and in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of New York!” The connected hives adventure is just beginning.