With all due to respect to their production of that sweet golden nectar, bees actually play an integral part of the economy. Their pollination powers help produce the avocados for our toast, the berries for our shakes, and coffee beans for our five cups a day. Crazy enough, but actually, 30% of the global crops depend on bees. However, bees are facing extinction, with the global population drastically reducing in numbers to various reasons of colony collapse. Israeli startup BeeWise aims its efforts at bee preservation by developing a smart beehive for better colony mangement that also produces high-quality honey. The company recently announced a $10 million Series A funding round led by Fortissmo Capital.
The Internet of Hives
It may be a bit surprising, but most of the hives used today aren’t that different from those used in the 19th century. BeeWise is developing an AI-powered automated hive that creates optimal thriving conditions for bee colonies. The hive is about the size of a food truck and it comes fully loaded with climate control; robotic arms (very cool); location-based pesticide - works only when pests are detected; autonomous population control, which changes hive conditions to prevent colony-threatening overpopulation; real-time alerts; and a system that alerts the beekeeper when the honey container reaches its 100-gallon capacity. According to the company, its bee positive technology has already saved billions of bees and reduces the number of painful stings when harvesting honey.
BeeWise was founded in 2018 by CEO Saar Safra, Hallel Schreier, Eliyah Radzyner, Yossi Sorin, Boaz Petersil. Other than Fortissmo, the round saw participation from Michael Eisenberg, lool Ventures, Atooro, and Arc Impact. In addition to the $10 million, the company also took home $2.5 million in grant funding from European Horizon 2020 program and another $1 million found its way into company pockets from the Israel Innovation Authority.
With the aforementioned fear of increasing colony collapse, brings any bee preserving innovation to light. It was just a few weeks ago that another Israeli BeeTech startup raised funds, with BeeHero bringing in $4 million for its smart hive management dashboard. The company’s technology monitors hives and offers real-time colony insight to beekeepers for better hive management.