Small sensors allow beekeepers to be aware of problems in the hive so that they can act before it is too late; Because colony collapse disorder has devastated apiaries across the United States.
Due to the destructive effects of the climate crisis around the world, bees have become one of the most damaged insects. Between October 2018 and April 2019, 40 percent of US bee colonies died, the highest winter death toll in more than a decade, which could directly affect honey prices and purchases.
Bees, as the world’s first pollinators, play an important role in the global food supply chain, and their loss could lead to the devastating collapse of many of Earth’s ecosystems.
BeeHero, a California-based startup, seeks to change the pollination game by using a set of advanced techniques to help manage and protect hives, including artificial intelligence programs that can visualize the future health of colonies.
Through its precision pollination technology, the company now works with beekeepers across the United States to maintain hive health while promoting a more sustainable food supply chain.
Omer Davidi, CEO of Beehero, started the company when he realized that the beekeeping industry was becoming increasingly industrial (which had a devastating effect on bees’ ability to survive in a variety of physical environments).
when [صنعت] It became more and more industrial, you will have thousands of hectares of the same crop in the same place. “It is not possible for insects to survive in this environment, and farmers are increasingly dependent on bringing physical hives to farms,” Davidi said.
In addition to climate change, stressors, such as the growing shortage of forage in the area, have forced beekeepers to move hives from one location to another, spreading diseases and infections.
“I think the situation in the United States is the worst because you have long distances and you always move hives. Today, maintaining hives is very stressful because the whole food supply chain depends on them. I do not think colony collapse disorder is the biggest problem. I think the biggest problem is that this displacement and irregularity reduces the profitability of beekeepers to almost zero. The profit margin of this industry is very low. If the beekeeping process cannot be made more profitable, we will no longer have beekeeping to keep the bees. “And without them, we would not have bees.”
As a result, BeeHero launched smart hives using a combination of data analysis and artificial intelligence. Through 9 different sensors, including GPS, the algorithm tracks 30 separate clone metrics and can predict hundreds of different scenarios in each hive.
Criteria include sound, temperature, humidity, magnetic field, as well as patterns that determine the queen’s health, tick infestation, disease onset, number of baby frames, and hive theft. “By being able to detect problems early and guide beekeepers to fix them, you are saving a large number of colonies,” Davidi said.
One of the company’s initial challenges was figuring out how to communicate effectively and quickly with beekeepers when they needed immediate action to fix their hive problems. BeeHero’s solution was to send a message to beekeepers via SMS and simple email:
We use less attractive notifications like SMS and email, things that Silicon Startups would never want to do, as they usually want their own notifications in the app. But if these methods work and create beekeepers to solve the problem, this is what we care about.
The company review process involves selecting beekeepers who are truly committed to addressing hive problems and are motivated to take a data-driven approach to the business. Two and a half years after entering the US market, BeeHero now works with five women from the top 20 beekeepers in the country, as well as other average beekeepers.
Idaho-based beekeeper Larry Johnson and owner of K&L Honey has worked with BeeHero for the past three years. The 52-year-old, who has been in the beekeeping industry for 32 years, was first introduced to the company in 2019 through a California-based pollination broker. During the initial test process last spring, Johnson used 200 BeeHero sensors. This year, the sensors are within about 3,000 of his colonies. He says:
“We are receiving information that we would not normally be able to obtain. “I can access that information on a platform on my phone. This information gives me information that I usually have to pull out of the hives and physically inspect.”
Some mornings, Johnson received a warning about defective colonies. He then adjusted his schedule and went exactly to the hive, examining the bees and making sure the queens were well. Because sensors can detect hives without a queen, Johnson determines whether they need to carry new queens and queen the hive.
BeeHero has gained considerable appeal across the country. This month, the company raised $ 19 million in new funding to increase end-to-end services for large food production operations as it seeks to become the largest pollination provider in the country. . However, there are still challenges, including the skepticism of farmers and beekeepers.
“everyday [این زنبورداران] They see companies that promise to increase their productivity, and this is no exaggeration. When we meet with them and show our service to them, we want to convince them that we are not just talking, but actually “We can offer real value.”