Bees and other pollinators contribute $24 billion to the U.S. economy, but bee colonies have been suffering collapse for decades, due to factors like commercial pesticide use and parasites.
(There has been a slight improvement this year.) “Given the heavy dependence of certain crops on commercial pollination, reduced honey bee populations pose a real threat to domestic agriculture,” according to a 2014 White House statement.
The Bee Corp makes software and sensors to help commercial bee farmers monitor the internal conditions of their hives. Their current product monitors queen bee health, which is a major factor of hive survival. Farmers receive alerts by text message.
The undisclosed amount of funds Bee Corp has raised in its Series A round will go to building a more robust platform and integrating data monitoring and decision support for farmers.
The round was backed by several angel investors and some of the company’s larger commercial customers.