For almost two decades, agriculturalists around the world have been sounding the alarm about the global disappearance of entire bee colonies, a vital link in the food chain whose absence is threatening the world’s food supply.

Scientists have determined that one of the primary causes of colony collapse disorder (CCD) is the Varroa mite, a pest that attaches itself to bees as they develop in their cocoons and feeds on them, transmits viruses to them and can even kill them.

Israeli startup ToBe has developed a device that releases precise amounts of miticides in beehives to rid them of these parasites without harming the bees themselves.

Since the early 20th century, the Varroa mite has spread from Asia to colonies of Western honey bees – the primary species used for pollination of our crops – in almost every part of the world.

Avner Einav, VP of product at ToBe, tells NoCamels that the mites infect beehives with several kinds of viruses and cause 30 to 60 percent of colony losses every year.

“These mites don’t just affect the bees,” he says. “They affect all of us.”

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ToBe is an agritech company that created a device to protect beehives from parasites using precise amounts of miticides to prevent harming the bees. ToBe CEO Eric Joely is a Technion alumnus.