May 17, 2020

Lightning Round: the truth about Coca-Cola and more

Lightning Round
Lightning Round
Frazer Jones
2 min
A row of Coca-Cola [Image Credit: Deymos.HR /]

An infographic was making the rounds and gaining some serious traction this past week, purporting to show the detrimental health effects of a single c...
  • An infographic was making the rounds and gaining some serious traction this past week, purporting to show the detrimental health effects of a single can of Coca-Cola. The infographic alleges that the hour after drinking a can of Coke is filled with blood sugar spikes, rising blood pressure, dopamine production akin to heroin use, and loss of vital nutrients and electrolytes. But is this good science or scare tactics not worth the share? Reaching out to a nutritional biologist has revealed that many of the statements in the infographic are misinterpreted or straight-up false. Unfortunately, well-made graphics like these tend to take on a life of their own, meaning that Coca-Cola could still feel its ill effects as it resonates with the public. ~ Buzzfeed
  • While SABMiller may be doing well in most of its regions, South Sudan is proving to be a difficult area. According to a new Bloomberg report, problems in obtaining currency and raw materials have escalated to a point where SABMiller may have to halt operations in South Sudan indefinitely. ~ Bloomberg
  • Information about Jared Fogle has gone from bad to worse, as new reports implicate former Subway spokesman in such exploits as paying for sex with a 16 year old girl and advising a female former Subway franchisee to advertise herself on Craigslist so that he could watch. Subway has spoken out about this latest allegation, asserting that it “if true, is appalling,” and has reiterated that the brand has cut ties with Fogle. ~ Business Insider

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Jun 21, 2021

Tech firm BestBees helps honey bees with remote monitoring

Helen Adams
3 min
Honey bees are struggling. Tech firm like Best Bees and ApisProtect are using remote monitoring to help them rise again

The global honey industry was worth an estimated $9.2b in 2020. Out of the 100 crop species which feed 90% of the world's population, 70 of them are pollinated by bees. In addition, 1.4b farming jobs, depend on the pollination of crops carried out by bees. 

Bees are vitally important to planet earth and everyone on it - but they are in danger. Between April 2019 and 2020, 43% of US hives were lost. Bee hives have been devastated by:

  • Parasites
  • Pesticides
  • Climate change

Tech firms have taken on one of the world’s oldest occupations, beekeeping, in order to maintain the welfare of the the mighty bumblebee. 


Best Bees Company bumbles forward

US business, Best Bees Company, was shocked at the plight of the American bee colonies.

Best Bees install hives and then use an advanced software system to monitor and record the health of each bee hive.

"We are looking at why thriving beehives live", said Wilson-Rich, chief scientific officer at Best Bees. "We need to understand why they're doing better. With that research data we can get wonderful benefits... it is telling us how the bees are actually doing."

Best Bees also harvests and bottles the honey for the property owners, of where the hives sit, to enjoy.

The data is being shared with Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where researchers are trying to understand and assist the bees in their duty.


Tech saves beekeepers time and labour 

The Irish business ApisProtect is also utilising technology to help the bees, through their wireless in-hive sensors, which transmit data.

"We collect temperature, humidity, sound and acceleration [of the bees flying out of the hive] data," said  Fiona Edwards Murphy, chief executive "What we do is extract those raw data points and then use machine learning to convert that into useful information. We tell the beekeeper, for example, which hives are growing and which hives are shrinking, or which hives are alive and which hives are dead."

The technology means beekeepers no longer have to manually inspect hives, which saves time and effort and allows the bees to go about their business uninterrupted. 

"In a commercial operation only about 20% of hives at any given time need intervention," concludes Edwards Murphy. "The problem is that beekeepers don't know which 20%. They literally go out and pick around a hive to see if it's the one they should be looking at. What we do is enable them to get a picture of what's happening in all their hives, spread across a large area, before they even leave their office in the morning. For commercial beekeepers, we see a 50% reduction in labour costs. That obviously has a huge impact on the business of beekeeping."

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