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 US Environmental Protection Agency, over 30% of honeybee colonies are disappearing each year, posing a severe risk to global food supplies.
Diseases, pests, and pesticides are some of the biggest factors contributing to colony collapse, but climate change remains the biggest threat to the bee population.
People and governments have been banning pesticides and planting more pollinator-friendly flowers to increase bee populations naturally.
Beewise aims to assist this endeavor by creating robotic hives that protect bees from any hazard. 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, this robotic system requires no human intervention and responds to threats in real-time.
Aside from protecting the hive, the company said that the Beehome helps honeybees thrive by reversing the colony collapse trend.
Beehomes are thermally regulated, protecting hives from 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. The monitoring is powered by small batteries and solar panels, all run by an app.
The Langstroth box is the traditional hive most commonly used today. 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.
Currently, Beewise manages over seven billion bees, equating to 25,000 acres of pollinated crops. The robotic Beehome device has saved over 160 million bees over a year.
“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.
Thousands of orders have been placed in the US in just the last few months, and the additional $80 million in funding will allow the company to increase manufacturing and meet the growing demand for the device.
Beewise also introduced a new lighter Beehome, which is 32% smaller and 23% more cost-effective to transport. It hive mobility, enables farmers to easily care for millions of bees, and guarantees seasonal crop pollination.
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.
Every Beehome can accommodate 24 full-fledged colonies in an 8-foot by 6-foot box and costs $400 a month, plus delivery fees. The boxes are equipped with GPS, so the beekeeper always knows where it is. The owner is also automatically alerted if their Beehome is being moved.
“Beewise impressed us as the only solution addressing every complex issue that is contributing to the collapse. Not only have we funded a company with a fantastic business model; it also addresses one of the biggest 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 the North American market but hopes to eventually distribute the device to commercial beekeepers globally.
Learn more about the Beehome in the video below by Reuters.
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