The National Science Foundation has awarded a $225,000 grant to Bloomington-based startup The Bee Corp. The company says the funding will allow for additional research to improve its beehive monitoring system.
The Bee Corp. is also pursuing an additional $50,000 in matching funds offered by Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures.
The company says it will use the funds to build on its baseline statistical model of a healthy hive originally developed last year. The new model will look for anomalies in hive data that correspond to common threats to beehive health, such as pest- and disease-related problems.
"The National Science Foundation award will allow us to discover new insights about honeybee health through hive data," said Ellie Symes, chief executive officer of The Bee Corp. "We will be able to build better models of hive activity and develop new applications for internet of things technology within the beekeeping industry."
Symes says the grant represents a "significant milestone" for the company. The data will allow the company to improve existing monitoring products for beekeepers.
The company has also hired its first non-founder employee. Symes says Gretchen Riggs, who joins the company as a data scientist, will spend the majority of her time working on the grant project, leading a three-person team of IU graduates to build and test algorithms and make recommendations on product creation.
Earlier this month, Symes spoke with Inside INdiana Business about The Bee Corp.’s newest technology designed to help beekeepers deal with hive theft.