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Superfood for Honeybees

Shafir Sharoni, HUJI, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, Entomology

 

About the Start Up

APIX Nutrition has been established by two of the worlds’ leading authorities on bee nutrition who seek to commercialize their work, and that of an international research team involving The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) and the Universities of Oxford and Newcastle (UK) that, after 7+ years’ work, has resulted in a new feed formulation for honeybees that is demonstrably superior to any of those presently on the market.

 

Application

Domesticated honeybees play an important role in human food security through their services as crop pollinators and through the production of honey, wax and royal jelly. Unlike most other livestock under intense production, honeybees mainly feed themselves by collecting floral pollen and nectar. However, in areas where there is not enough flowering plant diversity and abundance, beekeepers have adopted the practice of routinely feeding bees with substitutes for pollen composed mainly of seed flours and sugar. The market for honeybee feed is global and worth an estimated £1 billion (sterling). Yet the feeds presently available (mainly of US origin where there is a burgeoning market) are generally of poor quality and do not provide honeybees with an optimized diet akin to that achieved naturally via the consumption of pollen and nectar. Consequently, present feeds are commonly supplemented with ingredients (such as pollen) by beekeepers in an ad hoc manner in a bid to make them more palatable/nutritious.

 

Figure 1: APIX NUTRITION’s Bee Feed Patty, being eaten by bees.

Our Innovation

  • The first truly scientifically-formulated pollen substitute - a complete, optimal and balanced diet for honeybees –APIX superfood will, for the first time, allow honeybees to be fed long-term with no ill effects.
  • Extensive trials reveal APIX superfood to have an unprecedented feed conversion efficiency; weight-for-weight our product results in 2-3 fold more brood production and almost twice the honey yield when compared in the field with one of the top US feeds presently marketed around the world.
  • Our product is packaged in an ecologically sustainable and novel manner – minimizing on-site waste and making it easy for the beekeeper to administer and use.
  • Because of the nutritional optimization of our patties, they are half the size/weight of competitor products. Consequently, our product has the advantage that two patties can be placed in the hive side-by-side; halving the disturbance to colonies when introducing feed and halving feed-associated time/workload/staff costs for commercial beekeepers.
  • Diet optimization results in less accumulation of food waste in the hive. Existing products result in significant waste build-up. This has a direct cost (in terms of non-utilized product) but worse, current products result in stagnating feed which causes significant problems and hive deterioration through the encouragement of beetles and Acarine mites as well as associated pathogen infestation and predation.

Opportunity      

The goal: to raise the working capital required to register and produce the company’s first product, a novel superfood for honeybees providing a complete and balanced diet. To establish the required operational/marketing platform to drive sales in the US and Southern Europe/UK/Israel to deliver a targeted £20 million (sterling) t/o within 6 years of the launch of our product via a combination of direct sales and distribution partnerships. To develop further products already in the pipeline.

Contact for more information:

Ilya Pittel
VP, BD AGTECH, FOODTECH, VETERINARY & ENVIRONMENT
+972-2-6586693
Contact ME:
All projects by:Shafir Sharoni (1)