Beewise, a climatech precision robotics company, is heeding the call to “save the bees.”
This month, the company announced its successful Series C fundraising of $80 million, bringing Beewise’s total funding to over $120 million.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over 30% of honeybee colonies are losing each year, posing serious risks to global food supply.
The biggest contributors to colony decline are diseases, pests and pesticides. However, climate change continues to be the greatest threat to the bee population.
To increase bee population naturally, governments and individuals have started to ban pesticides and planted more pollinator-friendly plants.
Beewise is committed to helping this cause by creating robotic bee hives that protect them from all hazards. Called the “Beehome,” the 24/7 monitoring and smart technology-equipped device automatically detects threats to a honeybee colony, including pests or pesticides, and immediately acts to defend against them.
Amazingly, the robot system responds in real-time to threats and requires no human intervention.
The Beehome protects the hive and reverses the trend of colony collapse, according to the company.
Beehomes are thermally controlled, protecting the hives against fires, flooding and Asian wasps (also known as murder hornets).
Beehomes also provide improved feeding techniques for when food supply isn’t available to the bees, for instance, during winter. An app runs the monitoring, which is powered by small solar panels and batteries.
The Langstroth box, the most common hive today, is the traditional Langstroth box. It was designed about 150 years ago and is so rampant that many often mistake them for bees’ natural habitat.
The Israeli startup completely redesigned the beehive with its Beehome by addressing many of the inefficiencies of the box, significantly enhancing bees’ well-being and longevity.
“Beehome reduces bee mortality by 80%, resulting in increased yields of at least 50%, while eliminating approximately 90% of manual labor when compared to traditional beehives,” said the company in a statement.
Beewise currently manages more than seven billion bees. This equates to 25,000 acres worth of pollinated crops. Over 160 million honey bees were saved by the robotic Beehome device over a one-year period.
“We are deploying precision robotics in tandem with the world’s most innovative technologies including AI and computer vision in order to save the bees,” said Beewise CEO Saar Safra.
In the US, thousands of orders were placed in the last few weeks. The company will be able to increase manufacturing and meet increasing demand with the additional $80m in funding.
Beewise also introduced a lighter Beehome that is 32% smaller than the previous one and 23% easier to transport. It increases hive mobility and allows farmers to easily care millions of bees. It also guarantees seasonal crop-pollinating.
While the rest of the market manages threats from Varroa mites—the tiny red-brown external parasites of honey bees—with chemicals, the revolutionary Beehomes uses heat and a robotic approach to achieve a 99.7% success rate. The robot heats up frames to a point where it harms the pests but not the bees’ brood.
Each Beehome can house 24 full-fledged colonies and costs $400 per month plus delivery fees. The boxes are equipped GPS so that the beekeeper knows exactly where it is. The Beehome owner is also alerted when it is being moved.
“Beewise impressed us as the only solution addressing every complex issue that is contributing to the collapse. We have funded a company with an amazing business model and it addresses one of the greatest challenges our planet is facing. We at Insight couldn’t be more excited,” said Daniel Aronovitz, Principal at Insight Partners, one of the funders.
Beewise currently serves North America, but plans eventually to distribute the device to beekeepers worldwide.
The video below is a detailed look at the Beehome by Reuters.
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