As 2021 comes to an end, I want to take a moment to look back over this very exciting time, and to also share a little about what is in store for the future. Dive into our activities, see where the buzz will guide us next year and learn about our challenges and opportunities.
An important start
The year commenced with a significant decision. Given the more mature state of our varroa exterminating technology, we expanded our focus to include the commercial beekeeping market. Before deciding on this new course, we conducted a lot of research with pollinators, honey producers and queen breeders all around the world, and so I would like to express our sincere gratitude to all our partners. These insights led to the development of a significant model (or triangle), which has been guiding our activities over the past 12 months.
The magic - or sometimes devil's - triangle
One could call this the magic triangle, but I want to be honest with you: Sometimes we were tempted to call it the devil’s triangle, as a positive effect on one edge can quickly have a negative impact on the others. However, in the end we believe we have found the optimal balance and finalized a product concept, which will go into commercial trials in spring 2022. The new product uses our proven heat treating technology and combines it with an approach that seamlessly integrates into commercial beekeeper’s operations. Stay tuned for big things to come.
From smart to intelligent
In order to further improve our treatments - and I’m not talking about varroa reduction, but also colony growth and pollination quality- we have invested heavily into the development of an intelligent brood detection algorithm. Thanks to this algorithm, we’ll be able to further increase our efficacy against varroa, while also compounding the positive impacts on other areas, for example honey production. Our focus is always on supporting the beekeeping community in the fight for strong honey bee colonies and this is another big leap forward.
The development of our apps has progressed well over the course of the year. The «Hive Manager» app was released for iOS and Web in May, and has received a great reception from an international crowd of beekeepers. We have also received a lot of hugely valuable feedback. To improve the user experience, we decided to split functionalities. Currently we are developing the «Hive Connector» app, which will act as a simple-to-use interface for the varroa treatment hardware, while the «Hive Manager» app will remain a super practical management app for hobbyists and sideliner beekeepers.
Furthermore we have the «Varroa Counter» app in our pipeline. A tool that allows you to quickly and easily track varroa infestation by scanning sticky boards, this app will be a game changer. You can expect «Varroa Counter» to be released in a beta version during summer 2022. We are already looking forward to receiving your feedback on this incredibly useful varroa monitoring tool.
Vatorex is growing
Last but not least, I want to thank all the people who continue to make this journey possible. The Vatorex team has grown to 8 employees thanks to the addition of C-level positions, who are helping to accelerate our product development.
Our year 2021 in numbers
We want to thank all support organizations, ecosystem stakeholders and partners - especially our research collaborators FiBL and ZHAW, and all our investors, the Swiss innovation agency Innosuisse and the European Innovation Council EIC.
With these words, I wish you a merry Christmas time and a wonderful start into a joyful and healthy 2022.
Buzzing beekeeping regards