News & Analysis

Farnell announces sponsorship and ‘Save the Bees’ design challenge at electronica

8th November 2022
Sheryl Miles

Farnell has announced a new sponsorship and element14 Community design challenge to launch to electronica in partnership with nearBees, an online platform designed to assist beekeepers in Germany to follow their passion for establishing and maintaining local honeybee colonies.

Starting this month, Farnell will sponsor five honeybee colonies in Germany for a minimum of one year to provide individual havens for up to a quarter of a million honeybees. A single colony can protect more than 50,000 honeybees as they play a critical role in maintaining the baseline of the food chain.

Almost 80% of all plants, and around one third of food production, depends on cross-pollination by honeybees and, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, every one in three spoonful’s of food consumed globally originated as a result of bee pollination.

In addition to the sponsorship, Farnell is launching a ‘Save the Bees’ design challenge on Tuesday, November 15 from Hall C2 within the Avnet Village at electronica. Members of the element14 Community are invited to design new applications, using Ardunio’s MKR1310 and Arduino Pro Nicla vision boards, to help solve current issues facing global bee populations.

Dirk Lammers, Regional Sales Manager for Farnell DACH, says: “Today, one in four species of bees are at risk of extinction and we want to get the element14 Community involved in helping to solve this crisis. With more than 800,000 global members, our element14 Community has the strength and design engineering talent to create new solutions that may support the welfare of honeybees and maintain global bee populations. We want to encourage everyone in our community from professional design engineers through to electronics enthusiasts, teachers and students to take part in this challenge.” 

The design challenge will be officially launched by Mayer Makes, the video content partner for the element14 Community. Throughout the duration of electronica, MayerMakes will be showcasing regular live presentations featuring a prototype project to help combat Braulidae (bee lice) from Farnell’s Stand in the Avnet Village.

Viktoria Schmidt, Co-founder of nearBees, said: "With nearBees we support beekeepers throughout Germany by connecting them with honey lovers. This way, we can offer a convenient and timesaving opportunity to market honey and arrange bee sponsorships. Our vision: rising bee populations in Germany. We are very pleased to be involved with Farnell’s ‘Save the Bees’ project and look forward to seeing many innovative solutions to help us achieve our goals."

Designers of the top applications will receive one of 50 major product prizes, including:

  • Arduino Pro Nicla Vision board – Featuring an ultra-compact 2MP colour camera, the board combines artificial intelligence and industry grade sensors with advanced connectivity. The Nicla Vision board is supported by a powerful STMicroelectronics STM32H747AII6 Dual ARM Cortex processor, combining a M7 core up to 480Mhz and a M4 core up to 240Mhz. Despite its industrial strength, energy consumption is low and can be powered by battery for standalone applications.
  • Arduino MKR1310 development board – The open source MKR1310 board is a practical and cost-effective solution for adding LoRa connectivity to projects requiring low power. The board can connect to the Ardunio IoT Cloud, a separate LoRa network using the Arduino LoRa PRO Gateway, existing LoRaWAN infrastructure such as The Things Network, and other boards using the direct connectivity mode.

Challengers have 11 weeks to build their project to Help Save the Bees and, to qualify; they are required to blog five times within the Challenge Space located in the element14 Community. The winners will be announced by the end of March 2023.

For more information about the ‘Save the Bees’ design challenge and to review the full Terms & Conditions, please visit the element14 Design Challenge page.

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