From bee security to worldwide tech company: Meet the winner of USask-sponsored 2021 SABEX entrepreneurship award – News

‘Sold everything we had’

Shirley, a former teacher and information technology specialist, started his venture into entrepreneurship back in 2014 when he and his wife, Julie, both decided to quit their 9-to-5 jobs.

“We moved to a farm, built our own house using Kijiji to save money, and sold everything we had in the city to eliminate debt,” said Shirley, adding that they began working with bees on their new family farm and Julie’s separate business venture, Blue Heron Gardens.

This led to an idea: a box of bees in the middle of a field with no internet, no Bluetooth, no Wi-Fi — what do you do to help stop the beehive from being stolen?

“We had been playing around with some software and different options, and we ended up creating a solution,” he said. “When you’re building a business, you don’t know what’s going to happen. You get a few wrenches thrown at you. Some of them hit you in the head, you dodge a few others, but you never give up.” 

What started as a product to prevent the theft of beehives has since expanded into designing, building, and delivering sensors and data monitoring solutions to clients worldwide.


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