5 Startups Helping to Save the Bees

Bees on a dandelion.

In the 1940s, it was estimated that there were close to 5.7 million honeybee colonies being managed in the United States. By 2015, that number had dropped to just 2.74 million. 

All over the globe, bee populations continue to decline — and it's a problem much bigger than not being able to purchase honey. Bees are one of the ecosystem's most important pollinators. Without them, growing enough crops to feed the worldwide population becomes a near-impossible challenge. 

The good news, though, is that there are a number of companies taking up the all-important mission of saving the bees. If you would like to put your support behind companies that are striving to protect one of Nature's most important creatures, these are the top startups to watch.

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Companies Helping to Save the Bees

1. 3Bee

Location: Fino Mornasco, Italy 
Funding: €6.2 Million

Founded in 2017 with the primary goal of helping bolster bee populations, 3Bee is an Italian startup that focuses on producing internet-of-things (IoT) devices for honey farmers. These devices are designed to help honey farmers better manage their bee populations so that bee populations all over the world are able to thrive. In addition to making these valuable devices available to beekeepers, 3Bee also promotes a variety of fundraising initiatives meant to support research into how we can prevent bee population decline. 

2. Beewise

Location: Bet Haemek, Israel 
Funding: $118.7 Million 

Tending to a beehive manually is a difficult and time-consuming process. For this reason, many beekeepers only attend to their hives once every few weeks. Unfortunately, a lack of routine care is one of the primary reasons why bee colonies suffer losses. To solve this problem, Beewise has invented an autonomous beehive called Beehome that is able to automatically attend to a colony's needs via AI and robotic components.

3. ApisProtect

Location: Cork, Ireland
Funding: $1.8 Million 

ApisProtect is a company helping to save the bees by providing honey farmers with a network of in-hive sensors designed to monitor the colony's health. By providing timely and detailed insights on a variety of key data points regarding bee colony health and productivity, ApisProtect helps honey farmers both prevent losses as well as improve the productivity of their hives. 

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4. Olombria

Location: London, United Kingdom 
Funding: Pre-Seed

While bees might be nature's most important pollinators, flies can serve as efficient pollinators as well. Olombria is a company that is working to help farmers who do have enough bees in their area for adequate pollination to capitalize on flies as pollinators instead by offering chemical volatiles that can be sprayed on crops to encourage pollination from flies. 

5. apic.ai

Location: Karlsruhe, Germany
Funding: Undisclosed 

Founded in 2018, apic.ai is a startup that leverages artificial intelligence and computer vision technology to analyze a farmer's crops in real-time and provide farmers with a detailed analysis of how their practices are affecting the populations of bees and other pollinators in their area. This data enables farmers to evaluate practices such as the pesticides that they choose to spray on their crops and determine the impact that these practices have on the health of bee colonies in the area, leading to decisions that are based on hard data rather than best guesses. 

Recommended: Check out our full list of the top startups to watch!

Frequently Asked Questions

What's causing bee populations to decline?

Research has pinpointed a number of factors contributing to bee population decline, including the increased prevalence of pesticides, habitat loss, climate change, and reduced species diversity. 

What would happen if all the bees died?

It has been said that if all the bees in the world suddenly died, mankind would go extinct in about four years. While this might not be exactly accurate given the potential for technology to save the day (miniature drones, for instance, could possibly be employed to take up the mantle of Nature's most important pollinator), suffice it to say that protecting the bees is an essential objective for mankind's survival. 

How do we save the bees?

Supporting companies such as those that we've listed is one way to do your part in preventing bee population decline. Living sustainably and reducing your carbon footprint is another way that individuals can make a meaningful difference when it comes to saving the bees.