An Austrian startup has revealed expansion plans following the overwhelming success of its invention in the fight against a bacterial disease that endangers bees all over the world.
Lorenz Hinterplattner, a young beekeeper from Upper Austria, teamed up with schooltime friend Markus Bollwein to establish Hive Analytics.
The duo developed SP50, a phytochemical feed supplement which proved to protect beehives all over Austria against American foulbrood (AFB), which is widely regarded as one of the most devastating bacterial infections of honey bees.
AFB is caused by a spore-forming bacterium that has drastically reduced the revenue of beekeepers almost anywhere in the world for years.
AFB spores are immensely resistant to freezing and high temperatures. Severe outbreaks can lead to the death of the majority of a brood. Since such incidents weaken all residents of a hive, they can eventually result in the death of the whole colony.
Hive Analytics recently successfully competed in a local bank’s competition aimed at supporting inventive young enterprises. The bee health technology startup did not just claim first place in the Upper Austrian Sparkasse’s ‘Startrampe’ contest, it also received EUR 25,000 (GBP 21,800).
Now the young entrepreneurs decided to promote their flagship product globally. Hinterplattner said: “We will invest the prize money into further research and the creation of a laboratory.
“Beekeepers had no other option than extensive reconstruction measures when their hives were hit by AFB. We successfully boosted thousands of colonies in Austria with SP50. Now we want to expand abroad.”
The laboratory will be located in Losenstein, the small town in Upper Austria’s Steyr-Land district where he grew up, according to Tips.
The 20-year-old Steyr-based polytechnic graduate admitted: “Fighting bee diseases has become my passion.”
His business partner Markus Bollwein said: “One gramme of the remedy costs EUR 4.98 (GBP 4.31).”
Larger dosages are available in their online store at https://www.hiveanalytics.at.
Around 33,000 residents of Austria currently engage in beekeeping, according to government statistics. Only one per cent of them are full-time professionals.
Most honey-bee colonies are situated in Upper Austria, the home region of the group of friends behind Hive Analytics.