Morris, also an electrical engineer by training, operates BroodMinder with wife and co-owner Laura Davis, project manager Steve Cantley and around five more employees doing quality control, marketing, design, writing and engineering.
He affectionately called Davis the “queen bee” and referred to himself as the “lead drone” — another word for male bees.
The business also staffs students during the summertime, Davis said.
Before BroodMinder, Morris worked for Madison-based research and product development firm bb7 with Cantley. Morris brought with him decades of experience conceptualizing devices for scientists, medical professionals and consumers.
Rich Morris shows data from the beehive-monitoring devices on his phone.
At bb7, Morris and Cantley helped study populations of people with bone disease. It was an opportunity to identify problems and needs within those populations, the outcome being new medicines and treatments, Cantley said.
He figured the principles of population analysis could also be applied to bees.
“If you don’t measure, you don’t learn,” Morris said.
Now, BroodMinder sells most of its products online, but the occasional passerby will stop in at the business’ brick-and-mortar space where they can see the devices in person.