“There are two million bees here,” said Shlomki Frankin as he entered a 12-square-meter white container in the middle of a kibbutz avocado field in Beth Hemek, northern Israel.
A container called Beehome holds 24 hives, explains a 41-year-old beekeeper who wears a hat with a veil to protect himself from possible bites.
These beehives function like ordinary wooden hives, except that they are controlled by a robot inside that monitors, monitors and cares for these insects, says Shlomki Frankin, who works for Beewise, which was created by a megavoli. .
The robot can automatically dispense sugar, water, medicine. In case of a problem, he notifies the beekeeper through the application. The latter can intervene remotely from your computer
Arriving on a test visit, he observes an electrical device moving in the center of the buzzing box and pulls out a frame of honey in which honey bees are collected.
on solar panels
“The robot is equipped with sensors that let it know what’s going on in the frames,” said Netali Harari, Beewise’s chief operating officer.
“Thanks to artificial intelligence, our software knows what bees need,” she said in a workshop that collects large metal hives.
The robot can also automatically dispense sugar, water, medicine.
In case of a problem, he notifies the beekeeper through the application. The latter can then remotely intervene from your computer and move if necessary.
The solar-powered megawoo can also regulate temperature, eliminate trouble and even extract honey thanks to a built-in centrifuge, says Netali Harari.
From the end of May, the startup will produce honey for the first time, “the world’s first honey made with the help of artificial intelligence! captures the director.
Europe in two years
For Shlomka Frankin, “the robot is a tool for the beekeeper, but he does not replace it.”
“I can perform many simple tasks remotely, such as expanding or reducing a hive […] or let the work do it and focus on other tasks, ”he says, adding that it“ saves a lot of time ”.
Hundreds of such robotic hives have already been deployed in Israel and a dozen in the United States. Beewise plans to enter the European market in two years.
Founded in April 2018, the startup, which has more than 100 employees, has attracted about 76 million euros in investment to develop its exports.
Protective technologies for endangered bees
According to Professor Sharoni Shafir, who heads the Center for Beekeeping at the Hebrew University of Rehovot, this technology can help protect increasingly fragile bee families.
“Sometimes it takes a beekeeper several months to realize the problem, with a robot he can handle a problem in real time, it reduces bee mortality,” he explains.
In recent years, many of them have disappeared around the world, falling victim to the “colony disintegration syndrome” associated with a combination of several factors.
“The reduction of flower fields as a result of construction has reduced the sources and diversification of bee food,” said the expert.
“In Israel, 20 to 30% of hives disappear every year,” but much of the human diet depends on pollination
Added to this is the use of pesticides, diseases and parasites such as Varroa destructor, a destructive mite, says Professor Shafir.
“In Israel, 20 to 30 percent of hives disappear each year,” but “we depend on bees,” said the entomologist, who said that much of the human diet was the result of insect-induced pollination that allowed plants to reproduce.
More than 70% of crops – almost all fruits, vegetables, oilseeds, spices, coffee and cocoa – are highly dependent on it.
“Bees and other pollinators are important for food security and nutrition,” said the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), which celebrates World Bee Day on May 20, to emphasize the importance of preserving them.