As the bee population declines, this startup is getting $8 million to use AI and electric vehicles for pollination

Given our general dependence on something called “food,” you’d think the problem of pollination — and its general decline — might be high on the global agenda. More than 80% of crops must be pollinated by insects, but growers can no longer rely on dwindling wild bee populations.

But it is a complex problem. Crop pollination by bees can threaten native wild bees, which are forced to compete with bees for food and thus exposed to new diseases. AgTech startups are addressing this by working on innovations or artificial pollination methods to make bees more efficient and less effective in the wild.

BeeWise and BeeHero are solutions that improve bees and their pollination efforts, for example. But bees are ineffective pollinators for most types of crops. And some startups are trying artificial pollination, but their solutions are limited to greenhouse plants. What should I do?

BloomX, based in Israel, is an AI-powered “biomimicry” technology startup that combines AI with mechanical devices to make the whole process more successful.

It has now emerged from the smokescreen with an $8 million seed round led by Ahern Agribusiness, a US-based vegetable seed distributor that also includes Vasuki Global Tech Fund, Bio Bee, Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), and Dr.

“Our goal is to provide a highly efficient and easy-to-use mechanized pollinator that allows growers to effectively manage and control the entire pollination process without exploiting bees,” said Thai Sade, co-founder and CEO of BloomX. in a sentence.

BloomX’s platform attempts to identify the optimal window for pollination and then provides crop-specific hardware devices to mimic the natural pollination process. They are electric vehicles with mechanical arms that navigate between two rows of plants and vibrate their stems. The pollen is then shed and falls on the flower stigmas to pollinate them, the company says.

For example, for avocado trees, BloomX has a “collecting device” that “caresses” an avocado plant to release its pollen grains, which are then transferred to another avocado variety.

Ran Ben-Or, managing partner and founder of Tene Investment Funds, added: “By enabling growers to achieve higher yields with less land and eliminating the need to introduce non-native pollinator insects, BloomX reduces the environmental burden on the agricultural production.” it is different from other solutions active in the field of pollination.”

Source: La Neta Neta