June 25, 2018
We’re not a bee company...or at least, didn’t start as a “bee company.”
We’re a tech company that fell in love with bees.
Let’s get a little “once upon a time” on you: We’re a really close-knit team. And not in a trust-fall, cake-in-the-breakroom way; we’ve known each other for years, and we share some deep stuff. We talk about everything interesting in our lives, which is usually geekery or politics, or tech, or art. But one day, it was...honey bees.
It was Monday. Joe was emerging from a rabbit hole of blog posts, science articles, and documentaries about the decline of the global honey bee population. And that was precipitated by this amazing Kurzgesagt video. (We love them.) He shared the video with the rest of us on Slack, and while it sounds a little hackneyed to say we were all instantly transfixed, we were.
None of us had ever heard of the varroa mite, and we had only a passing understanding of the dangers facing the honey bee population. We knew the bees were dying, and that’s where our knowledge stopped.
But suddenly, here was this intense video laying out the three most pressing threats, and close behind there was Joe dropping link after link of research, and what we all expected to be just Monday’s Interesting Topic became a little obsession.
We kept talking about this crazy parasite that hitches rides on unsuspecting honey bees.
And instead of it fading away like most passing fun-facts, Joe kept researching, and we kept obsessing. And then he threw an idea out on the Random channel, in an “I-am-sure-this-is a-dumb-idea” kinda way: What if we (mobile app nerds) tried to build a device that cleaned the mites off the bees? And before he could get, “You’re right, that was a stupid idea,” we were all in. Carissa immediately jumped on the concept sketches and added her own insight, and the doubty/casual, half-hearted pitch got a lot more serious.
“We couldn’t,” became “could we?” Or really, it became “could we (actually)?” Because at first glance, the leap from software to bee-saving physical product company seems a little far. But what if it doesn’t? What if we actually have an idea that could go somewhere? That could actually help save the bees?
So that’s where we are right now. As far as we know, there’s nothing like this on the market, which either means it’s either a terrible idea or...no one has thought of it yet.
We’ll let you know when we find out.