Series-Bee: Meet the startups trying to save America’s ailing bee population

A number of startups are working around the clock to find tech-rooted solutions to the bee-pocalypse.

November 21, 2018

Look, we know you’ve been pissed at bees ever since one stung you at your 4th-grade birthday party in front of your crush, swelling your head to twice its size (“balloon face” is a hard nickname to shake).

Okay, maybe that’s personal. Point is, bees aren’t some abhorrent pest — they’re one of the most important insects in the world….

But they’re in trouble

In the past few years, US beekeepers have lost 38% of their colonies.

According to the Sierra Club, the reasons for this are complex and wide-ranging — a combination of “parasites, pathogens, pesticides, poor nutrition, and habitat loss.”

Why does this matter? Well, turns out bees are responsible for cross-pollinating 30% of the world’s crops — including roughly $15B worth of US crops every year.

Where there’s a problem, there’s tech

As Quartz reports, a number of startups are working around the clock to find tech-rooted solutions to the bee-pocalypse.

Edete is building robotics to fill in the pollination void bees have left behind. ApisProtect and BeeHero are using “connected tech” and the Internet of Things to closely monitor pollutant and temperature levels inside hives.

Collectively, these companies are monitoring millions of bees in an effort to pinpoint where issues occur and reduce colony drop-off.

And if they succeed, we’ll be getting stung a lot more in the coming years. Hey, it beats world famine.

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