Smart D8 pilot project Bee8 set to cause a buzz in Dublin 8

  • Smart beehives installed around Dublin 8 with 20 sensors to monitor beehive performance and health
  • Health of endangered Irish honeybees key to understanding local environment

The Digital Hub and the Robert Emmet Community Development Project (RECDP) are bringing the latest buzz to Dublin 8 with a new Smart D8 pilot programme, Bee8. Together with the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), St Patrick’s Mental Health Services and the Tyndall National Institute, Bee8 will focus on bringing the community together to develop a link between society, nature and wellbeing using bees and data to better understand the Dublin 8 ecosystem.

Smart D8 is a collaborative initiative with the purpose of investigating how new and innovative approaches can be used to improve citizens’ health and wellbeing in Dublin 8.

Bee8 will build on existing work already being undertaken in the community, and through partner support RECDP is set to become Ireland’s largest urban apiary in 2022 with a total of 57 beehives spread throughout 12 locations in Dublin.

Smart D8 is supporting Bee8 with ‘smart’ beehives developed by the Tyndall National Institute, which will see Dublin 8 be home to one of the largest deployments of smart beehives in a community setting.

20 sensors across 4 beehives have been developed and installed to monitor key data from bees including temperature, hive weight, sound, humidity and bee activity levels. It is hoped that from its beginnings as a social enterprise in Dublin 8, Bee8 will grow into a process which can be applied to beehives internationally. The project already has an international dimension, with the development of sensors supported by the Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network (CALIN). CALIN is a partnership between Irish and Welsh institutions to strengthen economic links and stimulate cross-border collaboration in life sciences.

Bees are excellent sources of information for how a local environment is performing, and the data gathered will serve to inform the project team on air quality, climate and pollution in the Dublin 8 area. It is planned that over time the sensors will be further developed to capture air quality and CO2 levels in the local area, creating a feedback loop between local residents and the hive managers as to the impact the hives are having on Dublin 8’s biodiversity.

Bee8 will focus on citizen science projects with local residents to promote urban wellbeing and biodiversity. Community workshops on the importance of bees and bee by-products by trained experts will form part of an inclusive learning programme. A Community Engagement App is also planned as part of Bee8, which will enable locals to get directly involved through live streams of bees in their natural habitat during key stages of the beekeeping calendar.

Community members will be trained on how to use and collect data from the smart beehives, which will assist in creating educational material to encourage young children to transform their neighbourhoods into healthy and bee-friendly areas.

The Bee8 programme will also support the development of a sustainable social enterprise established by RECDP, which will bring sustainable jobs to the Dublin 8 and surrounding area. The programme will lead the way in providing insights for a sustainable model for community led beekeeping and honey production, with new technology offering detailed knowledge on beehive states, ways to improve bee health and reduce bee loss.

Fiach Mac Conghail, CEO of The Digital Hub, said:

“It’s encouraging to see an additional Smart D8 programme beginning, particularly one that will hold a great importance among the Dublin 8 and wider community. The Digital Hub are proud to be supporting Bee8, which will bring communities together to not only learn about the relationship between people, nature and wellbeing, but also to develop research and knowledge through participation in the project. In doing this, communities are making a true impact and The Digital Hub looks forward to supporting and participating in Bee8.”

Austin Campbell, Executive Director of the Robert Emmet Community Development Project, said:

“Bee8 is an important project that will educate the wider community about the importance and many benefits of bees and will also bring the community together after a long period of time apart. At Robert Emmet Community Development Project, we focus on building that community relationship and reaping the benefits of local involvement, and we are eager to see the Bee8 project impact our local communities in a positive way. We are delighted to be leading the programme with The Digital Hub and are grateful for the support from our many other partners.”

Carlo Webster, Senior Strategic Business Executive at the Tyndall National Institute, said:

“The data that will be collected from the smart beehive sensors can be shared between beekeeper communities and environmental researchers through an open access IoT cloud platform that will enable a better understanding of current and future honeybee patterns and behaviours. Honeybees are excellent bio-monitors and this pilot project, which is part funded by the Wales-Ireland Interreg programme CALIN, will give us a better understanding of the surrounding environment. As a national research Lab, this is an exciting research project to be involved in which will drive human and economic impact for communities involved in Smart D8. “

Orla Gogarty, Director of Digital Health, Transformation and Partnerships at St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, said:

“St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS) is delighted to partner with Smart D8, The Digital Hub, the RECDP and the Tyndall National Institute on this innovative Smart Bee8 project, which aims to improve citizens’ health and wellbeing. Research shows that taking time to connect with our natural environments can have significant benefits for our wellbeing, and SPMHS is delighted to host a number of the Smart Bee8 hives on a green space at our Dublin 8 campus. We are also improving the biodiversity of this green space through wildflower planting to ensure that the bees thrive. Following the installation of the hives, we are particularly excited to offer our service users and staff the opportunity to participate in the associated educational online and on-site beekeeping programme, which will broaden community engagement in this health-focused initiative and widen its positive impact.”

For more information on Bee8, visit:


For more information:

Andrew Smith | Murray | | 083 076 5717

Rachel Power | Murray | | 087 939 9605

About Smart D8

Smart D8 is a collaborative initiative with the purpose of investigating how new and innovative approaches can be used to improve citizens’ health and wellbeing in Dublin 8.

The Smart D8 District brings together local authorities, academia, healthcare, local community and industry in a partnership model to address real world issues.  The Digital Hub, Smart Dublin, Dublin City Council and St. James’s Hospital are joined by HSE Digital Transformation, Tyndall National Institute, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Trinity Research & Innovation, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, National College of Art & Design, Guinness Enterprise Centre and Health Innovation Hub Ireland as partners in this unique initiative

Smart D8 has engaged with the local Dublin 8 community to identify the major issues faced in terms of health and wellbeing and will develop an ecosystem of innovation and collaboration where solutions can be developed to address these issues. Read about Smart D8 at:

About The Digital Hub

Based in the historic Liberties area of Dublin city centre, The Digital Hub is an enterprise cluster for growing technology companies. Forty-eight established businesses operate in The Digital Hub. Together these businesses employ just over 300 people.

The Digital Hub is the largest cluster of digital media, technology and internet businesses in Ireland, providing a space for indigenous enterprises such as Akara Robotics, Bizimply, Good Travel Software and Neuromod to scale and grow. Major global companies like Lonely Planet are also based in The Digital Hub, along with industry organisations like PhotoIreland.

Since the project’s inception, over 400 companies have progressed through the enterprise cluster at The Digital Hub, generating thousands of skilled jobs. Some well-established alumni include Amazon, Athena Media, Black Shamrock, Boomerang Pharmaceutical Communications, Distilled Media Group (, eMaint, Etsy, Havok, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Riverdeep), Lincor, MTT, patientMpower, Slack, Software AG, Silicon Republic, Square1, Stripe, TIBCO, VSware and Wachsman.

The Digital Hub is a supportive partner of the local community, by running several learning initiatives for people of all ages. Community learning programmes are run with local partners. For example, the Future Creators Cadets is delivered by H2 Learning and supported by National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and The Liber8 Music Project is run with BIMM Institute Dublin. The Digital Hub also works with community groups and organisations such as the Robert Emmet Community Development Project and Pocket Forests amongst others. The Digital Hub is one of three lead partners on the Smart D8 initiative which aims to improve and sustain the health and wellbeing of Dublin 8 citizens through innovation and collaboration.

The Digital Hub Development Agency is the Irish state agency that manages The Digital Hub. The Agency was established by the Irish Government under the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment.

In March 2021, the Government decided to dissolve the Digital Hub Development Agency and close The Digital Hub. The Agency will now embark upon an orderly winddown process which will see the transfer of lands to the Land Development Agency. All operations at The Digital Hub, including various community initiatives and partnerships, will continue as normal up until the closure date.

The Digital Hub is in a position to offer leases for new and existing companies up until 2025 following an agreement with the Department of Communications, Climate Change and Environment.

Further information is available at: or on Twitter: @TheDigitalHub.

About the Robert Emmet Community Development Project (RECDP)

For almost 20 years Robert Emmet CDP have been working to support local community members access their rights and secure positive outcomes- individually and collectively. We pride ourselves on being agile, on being accessible and on responding to local needs and opportunities as they arise.

Our core charitable offering continues to be an afterschool programme for 7-12 year olds which we run out of our centre on Usher Street. We also deliver a curriculum of educational classes for adults, arts and cultural projects and environmental projects in addition to acting as a general resource.

In 2014 we developed a Beekeeping Project which was initially a small environmental programme located on the roof of our old office space in Mendicity Institution. Over the years this project grew into a social enterprise which now employs three people to manage 57 hives across a variety of inner city sites and deliver a variety of environmental and bee related educational classes.

This initial social enterprise success led to the development of a second social enterprise in 2018- In Our Shoes Walking Tours. In Our Shoes Walking Tours employs local community members to provide unique tours of the Liberties that create education and employment potential for our tour guides as well as the opportunity of genuine socially valuable tour experiences for our customers. The project won Travel and Hospitality ‘Walking Tour Company of the Year Dublin, 2022’ award.

Our focus on social enterprise belies our belief that, on both an individual and on a collective level, people are best served when they are being actively facilitated and supported to reach their full potential.

This belief also underlies our support of local residents organisations to access their rights to an adequate standard of accommodation and an adequate standard of living. We provide physical meeting space, facilitate the delivery of rights based training, assist groups with the delivery of agreed upon projects, advocate directly on behalf of local residents groups with local and central government and deliver community consultations and develop associated reports on planned developments.

We strongly believe that the local community needs to be ‘at the table’ for all decisions that concern it, and, we take our role as mediators between community and statutory agencies very seriously.  Our advocacy work on housing led to the establishment of Oliver Bond Regeneration Forum in 2021 which we deliver the co-ordination function of.

For more information on Robert Emmet CDP please see or as cdp_robertemmet