Beekeepers are benefitting from Kelulut Integrated Information System (KIIS) installation
Kelulut (stingless bees), in general, produce honey, propolis and beebread.
In March 2020, it was reported that Malaysia’s kelulut honey industry had the potential to reach RM3.03 billion in annual sales.
With technology to facilitate bee farming practices, the industry can flourish further and simultaneously drive Malaysia’s agriculture.
According to the researchers and engineers from SIRIM’s Industrial Centre of Innovation in Sensor (IC-I Sensor) – Dr Noraishah Shamsuddin, Zuhana Ahmad Zubir and Rahimi Alrozi – the price of kelulut honey and its propolis is considerably high due to its significant benefits to human beings.
Therefore, beekeepers need to ensure their habitat is in good condition to increase kelulut productivity and its products.
Noraishah shared about Kelulut Integrated Information System (KIIS), a device developed by the centre to assist beekeepers in monitoring the productivity of stingless bees.
“KIIS has an IoT (Internet of Things) based device that uses digital sensors to measure the temperature and humidity of stingless bee hives automatically and periodically,” said Noraishah.
“The data are sent wirelessly to the base station (gateway) via wireless sensor network (WSN) and subsequently to the cloud server via GSM/GPRS module.
“KIIS allows the kelulut hive to be monitored in real-time and online either through Web PC and android based smartphone to ensure the Kelulut is in good health.”
How KIIS adoption assists beekeepers
Zuhana stated that kelulut was very much prone to climate conditions.
“If its hive is hot, the colony will not survive long and start to die off or leave the hive. Traditional temperature monitoring is by taking the temperature manually,” said Zuhana.
“It is troublesome and risky while taking the parameter since the beekeeper will be besieged and invaded by the stingless bees.
“KIIS is for the beekeepers to continuously monitor the temperature of their beehives so that the colony will stay productive, increase the productivity of its products, thus generating more income to the beekeepers.
“The system has an alert function which will notify the beekeeper for any high temperature of the beehive so that necessary action can be taken,” they added.
KIIS is placed at the kelulut’s hive.
According to Rahimi, KIIS Installation is very straightforward.
“If the device is within the internet coverage, place the sensor in the Kelulut hive and switch it ON. If it is not in the internet coverage, a gateway needs to be installed to transmit the data to the KIIS cloud server,” said Rahimi.
Response from beekeepers
“We had installed this device in three locations such as Kuala Lipis, Jelebu and Tanjong Malim. The response from the beekeepers is encouraging since honey productivity has increased.
“During our study of three months before and after KIIS installation, a maximum of three times of kelulut honey was produced, thus reducing the harvesting cycle time. The quality of Kelulut honey was also tested by Malaysia Genom Institute (GMI) and was found unaffected,” Rahimi shared.
Rahimi also stated the production of propolis and beebread had increased after the installation of the system.
“One of the beekeepers has come out with several variances of cosmeceutical products using propolis.”
Those interested in installing KIIS can contact the Director of IC-I Sensor Hamidah Sidek at SIRIM. The package includes:
i) IoT device, rechargeable batteries and its charger.
ii) KIIS system (subscription base).
iii) User Manual for installation.
Under SIRIM’s Industrial research, IC-I Sensor aims to spearhead the development of products and services through sensor technology in the integrated sensing system, photonics, and biosensor.
Its innovative solutions provide new possibilities in safety and security, fitness, health monitoring, agriculture, safety and others. — @Green