in , , , ,

How BeeHero is Helping Farmers Improve Yields Through Precision Pollination

As most growers know, pollinators are the lifeblood of our food system. While the root or the stem of the plant might be able to grow without them, we need pollinators in order for our plants to produce any fruit or flowers. Many creatures, from birds to butterflies, can pollinate the flowers on our crops, but the single most important pollinator group in natural ecosystems across the globe is bees. Without bees, entire ecosystems would collapse. The importance of bees is not lost on those who rely on pollination to make a living, and that’s why BeeHero partners with beekeepers and growers to humanely maintain bee populations and maximize crop growth and yield. Co-founder and CEO of BeeHero Omer Davidi sat down with me to talk more about the importance of bees, what BeeHero is doing to help growers and beekeepers throughout the United States and beyond, and much more!

Did You Know?

Almost 90% of wild plants and 75% of leading global crops depend on animal pollination, primarily from bees

The Problem to Be(e) Solved

Many people in the general public are unaware of a mounting issue that we are facing globally—the disappearance of bees. While issues like colony collapse disorder (or massive unexplained loss of colonies), excess stress, and pesticides harming colonies, among other harmful situations are greatly impacting vital bee populations, few organizations are actively trying to restore bee populations or ensure that the colonies are the healthiest they can be. Considering that—according to the BeeHero website—around 70% of crops worldwide rely on these pollinators, it is more important now than ever to find simple and effective ways to improve the health of bee colonies and ultimately sustain or improve the world’s food production “When we looked at colony collapse disorder and the extreme challenges that beekeepers are facing, we also noticed that other companies were researching in this domain, but no one managed to have a widespread adoption from the more commercial businesses,” CEO Omer Davidi said.

Davidi and BeeHero’s two other cofounders, Itai Kanot and Yuval Regev, saw that while many people were trying to address this decline in bee populations, most of them were not going in-depth with the research or trying to produce at a scale large enough for corporate farms. That lack of scale was itself an issue.

Co-founders Itai Kanot, Omer Davidi, and Yuval Regev pose in their BeeHero beekeeping attire.

“A lot of companies focused a little more on the hobbyist perspective,” Davidi said. “We tried to figure out how we could build a different solution that would be adopted by the commercial domain because eventually the majority of beehives will be managed by commercial beekeepers—and that makes a difference when it comes to pollination.” The team knew that they wanted to make pollination solutions available on a larger scale, so BeeHero was born!

The Technology

While the potential impact of BeeHero is quite large, their technology is small and unobtrusive. Their technology—a small sensor—is installed into already established bee hive boxes to collect data on the health of the hive.

“The IoT sensors installed in those hives are collecting data all the time from inside the box, helping the beekeepers to maintain those hives in a better way,” Davidi said.

The information that BeeHero collects not only helps the beekeepers, but it helps the farmers they work with as well. Since pollination is such an important part of farming, the healthier and stronger bees will greatly benefit growers.

“We are providing the tools to generate stronger and healthier hives, and then we can take those hives and introduce them to crops in a way that will help to optimize the process of pollination,” Davidi explained. “The main focus of BeeHero today is providing precision pollination as a service for farmers. We help them to get a better understanding of their pollination needs, and we make sure the pollination process is done well.”

Once BeeHero has collected the data and the farmer understands their pollination needs more thoroughly, it is time to coordinate hive placement with the beekeeper.

“The beautiful thing about being part of BeeHero is the fact that we are dealing with data that did not exist before. We learn all the time how much we don’t know about bees and pollination and how much value the beautiful process of nature created.”

– CEO & Co-Founder Omer Davidi

“You need to deploy those hives properly for the needs of your field,” Davidi said. “We’re getting information from the growers before pollination about the different varieties of plants that they are using, the density of the plants, the location of the orchards, and other things that help us to better understand what the ideal deployment will be that will maximize the number of flowers that will be pollinated.”

Once the hives are placed, the rest is up to the bees!

Did You Know?

According to an article published by BeeHero, there is evidence to suggest that the nutritional composition of some crops like canola and sunflower are significantly benefited by effective bee pollination.

BeeHero employees place hives and install sensors in a variety of fields and orchards, including the almond orchard seen here!

Partnering with BeeHero

If you work on a farm, chances are you rely on bees in some way or another. BeeHero’s technology may be beneficial for you and your crops. BeeHero is always looking for more input and partnerships with growers to ensure high food quality and healthy bees.

“We communicate with beekeepers and growers all the time,” Davidi said. “But I think there were a lot of shifts. If we look at the early days, coming into the market and talking to growers and beekeepers, there were a lot of questions about BeeHero’s credibility. When we started, growers had seen a lot of things that didn’t really work, so they were a little bit hesitant to introduce new solutions onto their fields.”

In order to build that trust, BeeHero partnered (and continues to partner) with growers on small portions of their land to prove their effectiveness before implementing on a larger scale.

“To establish our credibility and the relationship between growers and BeeHero, if a grower has—for example—10,000 acres, we’d start to work with our bees on 500 acres and let them get the experience of it before we start to scale,” Davidi explained. “As we get more and more adoption from our current customers, and from the beekeepers, it results in a sort of network effect that supports our growth.”

BeeHero also partners with and assists beekeepers to ensure that the bees are being kept in the best conditions with the best care in order to ensure the pollination is efficient and effective.

“We employ people that really understand beekeeping and we have some beekeepers that we worked with in the past,” Davidi said. “They see thevalue of educating beekeepers and talking about how the technology might help them to become an even better beekeeper or how it can provide them access to data so they can make the right decisions to support their operation.”

The BeeHero sensor is attached to a single frame within each box, then data is regularly sent to the device on the outside of the collection of hive boxes (seen here)

Did You Know?
The average honey bee will only make about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.

A BeeHero beekeeper holds a bee hive box frame, showing how the BeeHero sensor is attached to the top of the frame.

Though a lot of their focus is on large-scale precision pollination or orchard crops, BeeHero’s technology could eventually be implemented on farms of various sizes and types, and that’s one of the goals of BeeHero according to Davidi.

“We established some interesting case studies in row crops, like sunflowers, alfalfa, and soybean,” Davidi said. “Some of those kinds of crops are considered to be self-pollinating, but what we’ve learned is that in some cases you can support their yields in a better way with bees. Now that we’ve established a good presence in the United States with specialty crops, we’re trying to focus a little bit more and find partners to research those row crops, which we believe might be of mutual benefit to the beekeepers and the farmers.”

If you are interested in learning more about BeeHero or bringing them to your operation, contact them here:

(855) 423-3437
[email protected]
Facebook | /BeeHeroPollination
Instagram |
Linkedin | /company/beehero

What do you think?

Worms in dirt

The State of the Fertilizer Market