Argentina-based Matias Viel is a bee magician — for which he’s been recognised as an MIT Innovator Under 35.
Viel’s company, Beeflow, has created a nutrient formula that it says boosts bees’ immune systems and helps them work seven times more effectively in cold temperatures.
With a crisis in bee populations triggered by predators, pesticides and the climate crisis, this could have huge implications for agriculture.
“If you have bad weather, or cold temperatures during that period, and you have a low amount of bee activity hours, your crop won’t be that good. We think that with healthier bees and then with a stronger immune system, bees can work better and perform better,” Viel told CNN Business.
The formula has been tested on farms in Argentina, where the company is based, helping to increase the yield for almonds, blueberries, apples and kiwis. Almond farms are a particular target, given the industry’s struggles to find enough bees to pollinate their crops during the short two- to three-week pollination window.
Viel says that his “super bees” will help pollination become more efficient, implying that they could also help reign in rising costs to rent bee hives per acre during the pollination season.
The company has been backed by a $3 million investment from Ospraie Ag Science, a venture capital firm. Beeflow plans to build an office and a team in Los Angeles with the funds.
Viel is also a managing partner at Bull Metrix, which helps companies achieve sustainable growth. Before this, he was CMO at Rodati, which simplified the car-buying-experience in Latin America.
He holds a degree in Business Administration from the Universidad de San Andres in Argentina.Tags: agriculture, Argentina, Beeflow, startup