Boosted by a $100,000 round of funding from the Indiana University BEST Competition, a startup focused on the health and well-being of bees is starting to expand its presence. Bloomington-based The Bee Corp. will own and manage around 100 beehives and gather data with built-in sensors to help gain a better understanding of the life cycle of the important pollinators. The company sprouted from an on-campus beekeeping club, and is focused on innovative ways to fight the global colony collapse. During an interview with Inside INdiana Business Television, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Ellie Symes discussed new software and research efforts underway by the burgeoning business.
"We will have hardware in beekeepers’ hives and through our software and data analytics, we will be able to tell them when their hives are at a critical point where they need to intervene. So, hopefully, in the big picture, we hope to reduce hive loss," Symes said. She says the overall goal is to capture quantitative data that can be used by researchers and institutions to help pinpoint why bee populations are decreasing. The stakes are high. "A third of our food is what honey bees pollinate, so if we don’t have honey bees, think about all of your fruits and vegetables just gone," she told Inside INdiana Business. Over the last decade, estimates suggest a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder has affected, on average, some 30 percent of hives each year.
You can connect to more about the research and software efforts by clicking here.