Technological startups from different parts of the world develop devices that analyze the condition of hives and the behavior of bees and even protect them from flying to fields treated with pesticides, Vedomosti wrote.
One of the first European companies to provide technical support to hives was Italian Arnia, founded in 2009. The company produces a device that collects data on the behavior of the bee uterus and the activity of the colony, analyzing temperature, humidity, hive weight, the number of bees and their buzzing, as well as weather conditions.
A beekeeper can get all the necessary information from any device with Internet access, and the e-mail of the apiary owner is notified in case of need to feed bees, as well as if the hive was damaged or stolen. During its operation, the company has attracted $700,000 and collected terabytes of data.
Now Arnia services are used by farmers from 14 countries, and the devices, which cost starting from $300, analyze the condition of hundreds of hives. At the moment the company is developing more compact devices that will be able to collect data not about the whole hive, but about its parts.
The most successful startup at the moment is BeeHero from Tel Aviv. In just three years, the BeeHero sensor was installed in 20,000 hives and now collects information about a billion bees. The startup has attracted more than $5 million to develop its sensors, and production of one device, according to co-founder of BeeHero Omer Davide, costs only a few dollars.
In the future, BeeHero plans to provide the sensor free of charge – you will only have to pay for a subscription to the beehive information processed by artificial intelligence. The principle of the sensor is similar to the device of the company Arnia – conditions inside the hive are analyzed, up to the stress level of the bee uterus. The technology allows to effectively maintain the vital functions of bees, and this, in turn, helps to increase the volume of some crops by 30-100%, Davidi told the portal TechCrunch.
Pollenity is not the only company that aims to produce robots for beekeepers. At the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, instead of looking for ways to save bees, scientists took up designing robots that would take over the pollination function if insects died out. And another Israeli startup – Edete produces machines for pollination of almonds, which are now being tested in the gardens of Australia and Israel. In the future the company plans to produce pollinators for apple, cherry, pear and apricot trees.