Littlest livestock, biggest impact: Beewise shares world’s first robotic beehive at evokeAG. 2023


  • Share on LinkedIn
  • Share via Email
  • Share Link
  • Print

Key Points

  • The Australian honey bee industry supports 1,800 highly skilled commercial beekeepers and approximately 530,000 commercially managed hives delivering paid pollination services.
  • The annual contribution of the humble honey bee is $14.2 billion to our economy.
  • One third of Australian food that ends up on our plate is dependent on honey bee pollination. From almonds to avocados to macadamias, honey bees are vital for the pollination and production of many of our favourite foods.
  • Honey bees also contribute to the meat we eat with some livestock feed crops dependent on pollination.
Beewise BeeHome unit

The latest in cutting edge agritech is catering to a tiny but mighty important customer – bees. US-based company, Beewise brought the world’s first robotic beehive to Australia for the first time, unveiling it at evokeAG. 2023.

The solar powered BeeHome works like a robotic beekeeper with cameras and sensor technology that can adjust the climate inside the hive automatically.

The device relays information to the beekeeper’s phone so they can keep track of honey production and care for the hive’s needs – all from wherever they are in the country, or even across the globe.

Besides monitoring the hive and the health of the bees to aggregate and evaluate what is going on, it also includes a harvesting system and an automatic system for pest control, feeding and thermal regulation. The robot can apply medicine if there is a disease, feed the bees, provide water and harvest the honey.

Time is ripe for technology

The BeeHome was a popular addition to Startup Alley at evokeAG. – a platform for local and global startups to demonstrate how technology and innovation is helping to address the global challenges our food system faces.

Standing in stature at approximately one metres high by three metres wide, the Australian reveal was made possible by sponsorship from the AgriFutures Honey Bee & Pollination Program which allowed for the BeeHome to be shipped from Israel to the Adelaide Convention Centre.

The Program invests in research that ensures a productive, sustainable and profitable beekeeping industry and secures the pollination of Australia’s horticultural and agricultural crops.

“There is simply nothing like it here in Australia. Our AgriFutures team has been liaising with the Beewise team since early 2020 about an opportunity to showcase the tech to Australian investors and beekeepers, and evokeAG. was the perfect opportunity,” explained AgriFutures Senior Manager for Levied Industries, Amanda Olthof.

“The outbreak of Varroa in Australia last year adds to the domestic interest in the BeeHome, largely because it monitors and treats for pests and diseases.”

In extensive test-bed sites in both the United States (US) and Israel, the beehive has been replaced with a device that is solar powered and driven by artificial intelligence and advanced robotics to monitor every single bee.

Co-founder and CEO Saar Safra said evokeAG provided a valuable launchpad for BeeHome, which already has more than 1000 units deployed across the United States.

“We’re just now expanding into the Australian market and we’re very excited about it,” Saar said.

“Saving the bees is such an important cause, especially given the recent Varroa mite outbreak, and I think the timing is perfect.”

Real time, real target for Varroa mite

Australia was the only continent free of the devastating Varroa destructor–until June 2022. The tiny parasite has crippled honey bees everywhere it has taken hold, particularly in Europe and North America.

Beewise technologists have devised a potential incubator where the capped brood (bee larva) frames are heated which destroys the mite without hurting the brood.

A robotic arm moves the bee larva frame into the incubator and back providing a scalable way of getting rid of Varroa without using any chemicals.

Tai Nicolopoulos, vice president of marketing at Beewise said it’s a promising solution to what has proven to be the industry’s biggest challenge.

“The ability to inspect bees and address problems early on with this device means colony loss rates are significantly reduced: sitting at about eight per cent versus the 30 to 40 percent international loss rates, so that’s very exciting,” she said.

Shaking up old traditions

In our tech-savvy world, it is hard to believe one industry has stayed almost the same for more than 150 years. That is, until now.

According to Saar, who trained as a software developer, the demand for bee services has outstripped the technological capabilities of the traditional Langstroth wooden box which is unable to keep up with the modern stresses of climate change, pests, pesticides and disease.

“My co-founder, he’s a commercial beekeeper and used to go every day to the field to try to treat the bees and at some point in 2017, he decided it doesn’t make sense that we still use 150-year-old wooden boxes to treat bees,” Saar said.

“So we apply every type of technology readily available in the market for the benefit of the bees. Our main customer is the bee.”

“Saving the bees is a critical mission internationally. Seventy-five percent of our fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts world-wide depend on bee pollination. Yet 35 percent of the bees around the world die every year from colony collapse. Lowering that number in order to secure a global food supply is Beewise’s number one priority,” according to Saar.

“There’s a lot of companies that are trying to tackle this from different angles but we are actually addressing the root cause of the hive collapse, and our technology is providing the solution to actually save the bees,” Saar explained.

“There’s no other company on the planet that does that.”

Media Assets


The extraordinary honey bee and its impact on the food we eat


Latest News

  • TEA TREE OIL / 23.04.24

    Novel analysis unveils complex composition of tea tree oil

  • 15.04.24

    ‘George the Farmer’ founder Simone Kain talks Bluey, staying motivated and what she’s doing now


    A superfood renaissance down under: AgriFutures Australia announces new research plan for the quinoa industry

  • 05.04.24

    Belle Binder wins Tasmanian AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award