Bees are becoming an endangered species, in Ireland alone, one-third of 98 bee species face extinction. However, the Cork, Ireland-based agtech startup ApisProtect is taking action to help bees survive and flourish, using the internet of things (IoT) sensors to monitor bee colonies. The company just raised a €1.5 million seed round led by Atlantic Bridge Capital and Finistere Ventures, with participation from Radicle Growth, the Yield Lab and Enterprise Ireland.
Bees play an essential role in global food production, contributing €153 billion worth of pollination to the agriculture industry, annually. One-third of all food humans eat depends on pollinators, and there are 91 million managed beehives worldwide. ApisProtect by helping commercial beekeepers more effectively manage colonies, helps growers to optimize pollination.
With ApisProtect, beekeepers don’t need to rely on periodic and manual hive checks that can allow pests, disease, and other issues to deteriorate hive health beyond rescue. The company now monitors the health of over six million honey bees in hives across Europe and North America, using the power of advanced sensors and machine learning (ML) to deliver a 24×7 early warning system, so beekeepers can give at-risk hives immediate attention and improve bee health.
ApisProtect, founded in 2017, will use the new funding to scale rapidly – deploying its IoT technology to more climates, bee foraging areas, and bee sub-species. Its key focus will be establishing a presence in North America, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, as well as growing its team in Ireland.
According to Dr. Fiona Edwards Murphy, CEO and co-founder, ApisProtect, this investment will allow the company to accelerate its expansion as it works to create an extensive global hive health database to power its machine learning (ML) insights. The company looks forward to building their team of AI specialists, engineers and scientists over the next 3 years to 25 staff, and helping to reduce honey bee losses worldwide.