Bees are really interesting kind of insect. You’re probably familiar with honeybees. And you’ve probably seen bumble bees, but they’re about 20,000 species of bees all around the world.
These are found in almost all habitats, and they play a vital role. They might look different, they might have different names, but they almost all do the same basic thing for us and for the environment.
They pollinate plants, and they help make sure that plants can reproduce. These are vital for most of the foods that we eat
Why choosing a problem that matters?
One out of three meals eaten by humans is made possible by honeybees. They are so important that if all the honeybees were to die out 1000s of plants would follow which could lead to millions of people starving in the following years.
On top of that honeybees have a huge economic impact. The dollar value of plants pollinated by them each year is around USD 265 billion.
The food we take for granted would just stop existing without them all there would be a massive decrease in productivity, food including apples, onions, pumpkins, cherries, apples, almonds, blueberries, cucumbers, the reproduction would fall off and the first people to feel that would probably be farmers who would lose income and plants used for feeding livestock and thus extremely important for our milk and meat.
Bees are certainly important for pollinating food crops, but they’re also important for other crops that touch our lives everyday like cotton. If it weren’t for bees pollinating cotton, we all might have to be wearing polyester. I wouldn’t want to live in a world without bees
Millions of hives have died in the last few years. beekeepers all over the world have seen an annual loss of 30 to 90% of their colonies.
In the US alone, bees are steadily declining from 5 million hives in 1988 to 2.5 million today.
Since 2006, a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder has affected honeybees in many countries, and we’re not entirely sure what’s causing it.
All we know is that it’s serious. It looks to be several factors coming together all at once. One of them is pesticides.
Technology, Nature and things we understand
That is why as a business angel I invested in Ubees, a startup committed to save the bees using innovative technologies and ensure food for everyone by optimizing pollination.
I met one of the co founder Arnaud in Shanghai when he was still managing the asia region for Carlipa System (a IoT company). I was amazed about his previous life and his involvement in beekeeping.
Today he is combining everything he learned to come back to a fundamental practice but with everything he got from the modern world.
So how does it works ?
To do so Ubees is listening to what the bees have to share thanks to hives equipped with IoT sensors running an algorithm decrypting bees secrets.
This helps understanding them, preventing damages and losses. It also allows to analyze the pollination activity of every beehive making sure we help farmers secure yields and harvests in a sustainable green way making sure they continue feeding the world.
Nowadays modern agriculture relies on access to bee pollination at an industrial scale and Ubees has launched the world’s first pollination stock exchange making quality hives available to every farmer at the fairest price.
They also invented and developed an IoT sensor that tracks individual hive health and pollination performance in real time.
They collect information such as temperature, humidity and weather and build with machine learning a predictive model to control the outcome of pollination and ensure a high level of efficiency of pollination.
Having an optimized pollination allow to monitor the health of a colony, yield prediction, supervising the flight hours of the bees. Ubees is the perfect example of an agritech startups that attack a huge problem that concern us all.
In some countries where wages is low, some growers do hand pollination themselves, but this ain’t sustainable and I don’t believe that pollinator drones is an answer.
If nature it took nature 65 million years to create the perfect symbiosis between bees and plants resulting in pollination. We should really question ourselves on how we could find a quick fix on such a marvelous engineering piece offered for free to us by mother nature.
When Ubees started their R&D in 2017, they made me have a look at the world in a different way.
“I was crazy enough to build my whole life around an insect but looking back now at everything I have learned from the bees impact watching a true nature miracle one day at a time there is not a single thing I would do differently. The bees inspired my life and will hopefully inspire my sons and grandsons””Mike Slivkoff, Beekeeper @ Ubees.
The world of bees is fascinating. Always evolving with the surrounding nature and adapting to changes. In beekeeping every day is a day 1 since nature, weather, climate, human activity makes every day unique.
Taking a fresh start every day is challenging and fascinating but definitely worth it since the bees are special: they labor for others making sure the plants we need reproduce. Another thing making them special is the honey which is one of the very few foods that are naturally imperishable.
I understand why knowing the bees are endangered and that we have to ensure them a future as our own depends on it. A business angel should really back company attacking a problem that concerns us all.
Where unit economics rise as the same time as technology enhanced old fundamentals beekeeping practices. Beekeeping 2.0 or Precision Beekeeping as they say,
Combining ancestral knowledge & techniques with science and new technologies we claim to save them and reinvent a new “modern” way of beekeeping.
We are also committed to make sure the “free” pollination service provided for centuries by mother nature keeps on feeding the world and we are assisted by our IoT technology to further improve this service, opening ways for new green and sustainable horizons in the agricultural world.
What if the bees could help secure and even increase yields just with the pollination strengthening plants and enhanced harvest quality thus cutting back our needs for fertilizers and pesticides?