Israeli Startup Generating Buzz With Robotic Beehives, Pulls in $80 Million
Beewise was founded in 2018 and has since developed the Beehome, which is a solar-powered container that monitors and cares for honeybees 24/7. It does this by combining robotics, imaging, artificial intelligence, and a mobile app along with its own software platform.
Up to 24 bee colonies can live within one of the Beehomes, which automatically control humidity and other climate conditions. Executives explain the system can detect when bees are about to swarm, eliminate parasites and pests, and alert humans when their help is needed. Beehome even harvests the bee’s honey.
Bee Efficiency, and Protection
Experts say by providing bees with ideal conditions, pollination occurs more efficiently and honey yields are higher. The Beehome mission goes further than that, and is highly focused on protecting bee populations. Beewise executives say climate change, parasitic mites, agricultural chemicals, and other pathogens have put the bee population at elevated risk.
Bee populations have been on the decline for years, with US beekeepers reporting the loss of around 45% of their honeybee colonies between April 2020 and April 2021. Meanwhile, over 75% of the world’s food crops depend on animal pollination, at least in part.
Beewise announced a $80 million Series C round last week, which saw a number of private equity firms participate. The company said this is the largest fundraising round to date for any Israeli agriculture tech startup. Beewise has now raised $120 million in total.
Around 70 people are employed by Beewise, all of whom are reportedly passionate about saving the world’s bee population. The company says the newly-raised funds will help them fulfill orders in the US and generally expand its manufacturing capabilities. A smaller version of the Beehome was also introduced, which is said to have stronger solar panels.
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