The Israeli start-up Beewise receives $80 million in funding for its homegrown robotic hives. The company wants to use its technology to protect bees from climate change.
Beewise is a bee technology start-up from Israel. Since 2018, the company has been working on robotic beehives to protect bees from global climate change. Like the news agency Reuters reported, the Israeli start-up is now receiving funding of 80 million US dollars.
Beewise: This is how the robotic beehives work
The so-called Beehomes are solar-powered boxes in which the Israeli start-up houses 24 bee colonies. Each container contains cameras, robotic arms, sensors and other systems that can perform all the tasks of a real beekeeper.
Each Beehome automatically controls the climate and humidity of each container, eliminating pests and parasites without the use of chemicals. In addition, the robotic beehives can use artificial intelligence to detect when a colony of bees is preparing to swarm and prevent this.
In addition, the robotic beehive recognizes when combs are ready for harvest. When around 450 liters of honey have been produced, the owners of the Beehomes will automatically receive a notification. In addition, every beekeeper receives real-time information about events in their robotic hives.
With the help of a remote control, the owners can monitor and care for their bees around the clock. Each container is about ten cubic meters in size and weighs under a ton without the bee colonies. So far, however, only commercial beekeepers in North America can order the robotic hives.
Robot hives to protect bee population
In an interview with the Israeli Internet newspaper Times of Israel explained Beewise-CEO Saar Safrathat real-time control of the robotic hives ensures yields improve, pollination is more efficient, and honey bee populations are protected.
The world loses about 40 percent of its bee colonies every year, Safra explains. Bee populations have been declining for decades due to climate change, habitat loss, overuse of agrochemicals, parasitic mites and various pathogens.
Robots can take care of bees better than humans
“Treating and caring for biological beings in real time helps keep them strong and healthy. A robot can do this all day long, it doesn’t get tired. Humans cannot treat bees in real time,” explains Safra in an interview.
If there was a problem, beekeepers would only notice it when they drove into the field and looked inside the hive. It is often too late by then and the bee colony has collapsed, the start-up founder continues.
Robot hives save millions of bees
With the Beehome, bee deaths can be reduced to around ten percent, says Safra. In 2021 alone, Beewise saved more than 160 million bees.
According to the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), more than 75 percent of the crops grown worldwide for food production depend on pollination by bees and other animals. Should these become extinct or their numbers extremely reduced, the food supply of the people would be in danger.