$8M to accelerate precision beekeeping


The bee’s knees of precision agriculture

Ubees lands $8M to accelerate precision beekeeping and pollination services

By Ryan Ridley

Investments continue to drive technological advancements across all aspects of agriculture and the bees are starting to hop on the bandwagon.

Ubees, a provider of precision beekeeping and pollination services, recently landed $8 million in growth capital, led by WindSail Capital Group.

It’s no secret that bees are essential in pollinating fruits, vegetables, and nuts – it’s said that 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat are pollinated by bees – what may surprise you though is the advancements in beekeeping from a precision ag perspective.

“We are incredibly excited to be working with the Ubees team. More than one-third of the world’s food crops are dependent on pollination while bee populations have declined over the years,” explains Matthew O’Rourke, Principal at WindSail Capital Group. “Meanwhile, demand for pollination dependent crops such as almonds have increased to historic levels. Ubees is well positioned to deploy its pollination expertise and innovative technology to improve efficiencies for the world’s food supply chains.”

The company uses sensors that provide non-intrusive precision monitoring of colony strength, population evolution, and hive activity – everything a beekeeper needs to remotely monitor hive health and make data driven decisions.

Alike many precision ag practices, monitoring is key for success and precision beekeeping is no different. Ubee’s technology monitors and quantifies parasites, pathogens, pesticides exposure, as well as nutritional assessments of a bees diet.

The end goal is to ‘reduce bee mortality rates and help to sustain pollination at the industrial scale’ says Ubees’ website.

“We found the perfect alignment between WindSail and Ubees in our mission to expand pollination services in the U.S. and abroad, which are essential to our food production,” said Arnaud Lacourt, Ubees’ Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “We immediately understood each other, and I knew right away that WindSail was the right partner to collaborate with in the most sustainable way.”

Ubees has big plans for this funding round:

  • Accelerate the deployment of its digital marketplace
    •    Grow its pollination services business
    •    Deploy its IoT sensor technology to monitor bee health and efficiency
    •    Develop algorithms to sharpen pollination monitoring and agricultural data
    •    Expand to new crops and geographies

The company currently operates 10,000 hives across the United States managing more than 50 customers. They also have a research and development center in Europe and recently started a new project in South America.

The bee’s knees of precision agriculture | Farms.com