Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (BEE.V) is an agriculture technology company, BEE.V has pioneered a natural precision agriculture system that replaces chemical pesticides and wasteful plant protection product spray applications by delivering biological pesticide alternatives to crops using commercially grown bees.
According the the company, BEE.V's award-winning technology, precision vectoring, is completely harmless to bees and allows minute amounts of naturally-derived pesticides (called biologicals) to be delivered directly to blooms, providing improved crop protection and yield results than traditional chemical pesticides - and improving the health of the soil, the microbiome and the environment. Currently, BVT has over 65 granted patents, over 35 patents pending in all major agricultural countries worldwide, and has US EPA registration of its VECTORITE™ with CR-7 (EPA Registration No. 90641-2) for sale as a registered biological fungicide for use on the labeled crops.
June 13 - Provides Corporate Update. Our primary objective is the full U.S. commercial launch of BVT’s vectoring delivery system, utilizing VECTORITETM with CR-7. Market expansion across crop varieties, into markets outside of the U.S. and through strategic or synergistic product development represent further growth initiatives.
The four pillars supporting our launch and growth plans are: 1. Regulatory Approval, for each required jurisdiction (US EPA, Mexico, Switzerland); 2. A robust Commercialization and Marketing strategy (Revenue, Crop Validation); 3. Ongoing Product Development and Innovation (Honey Bee Dispenser, Broadening product portfolio, Foliar Formulation); and 4. A solid Corporate strategy, inclusive of partnering and licensing activity, to maximize the potential of our internal product pipeline (Distribution, Product Development, Market Extension and R&D) .
Aug. 12 - Extension of share purchase warrant. Extend the term of 1,961,000 common share purchase ($0.35 cents) warrants currently set to expire on September 19, 2019 (the “Warrants”) to September 19, 2020.
Aug. 28 - Receives U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Approval for its First Active Ingredient. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved Clonostachys rosea CR-7 (CR-7) for use as a fungicide on commercial crops. CR-7 is the first registered active ingredient for the Canadian-based company and the first active ingredient approved by the EPA for application via bees, known as “bee vectoring,” in which BVT is a global leader.
Sold under the brand name VECTORITE™ with CR-7, the product is labeled for numerous high-value crops, including strawberries, blueberries, sunflowers and almonds. With this approval, BVT is positioned to officially launch and begin to generate revenue with VECTORITE with CR-7, starting with this year’s fall and winter blueberry and strawberry season in the U.S. The registration permits BVT to make positive crop protection claims when selling VECTORITE with CR-7.
Oct. 8 - Announces $1,000,000 Non-Brokered Private Placement. up to 4,000,000 special warrants at $0.25 for gross aggregate proceeds of up to $1,000,000. Each Warrant will entitle the holder, on exercise, to purchase one additional Share for a period of 18 months following the closing, at an exercise price of $0.40 per share.
Oct. 23 - Closes Non-brokered Private Placement. A total of 4,242,104 special warrants for gross proceeds of $1,060,526.
Oct. 23 - Signs First Grower Deal for A Commercial Crop Post EPA Approval. Sizemore Farms, a top-tier grower of Florida strawberries, as the first commercial grower deal for their newly US EPA-registered product.
Sizemore Farms will be using the Company’s proprietary bee delivery system and VECTORITE™ with CR-7 on 100% of their 62-acre organic strawberry crop this season and is considering testing the naturally-derived fungicide on a portion of their 600+ conventional acres for possible implementation on next year's crop.
Oct. 30 - Granted Decision by US EPA: New Residue Tolerance Exemption for its Registered Active Ingredient CR-7. EPA tolerance exemption indicates a high human safety with no expected adverse effect from dietary exposure.
Unlike many chemical pesticides, there is no requirement to test crops for residual CR-7 since it is deemed safe and not grounds for post-harvest rejection. Tolerance exemption can mean a shorter time to market and greater flexibility for growers since they don't have to wait for residue test results before shipping their crop, or run the risk of it being rejected if they ship and a subsequent test shows there was a residue exceedance.
Nov. 6 - Signs Two New Grower Deals in the Blueberry Market as it Progresses in the Commercial Phase of Operations. Two leading commercial blueberry growers in Georgia to use its proprietary bee delivery system and VECTORITE™ with CR-7. Blueberries represent the second crop that the Company has successfully penetrated into commercially.
BEE.V is currently in discussions with more than 10 additional blueberry growers in Georgia, as well as in other blueberry growing regions, and is expecting additional order commitments over the next several weeks.
Nov. 13 - Wins at International Agrow Awards for Innovation. BEE.V wins this year's Agrow Award for Best Application Technology Innovation for its proprietary bee delivery system and VECTORITE™ with CR-7. The Best Application Technology Innovation Award recognizes developments that improve the precision or safety of pesticide applications.
Nov. 20 - Sells Out Planned Florida Allocation to Multiple Strawberry Growers. Sold out its planned Florida allocation of commercial bumblebee hives with its proprietary bee delivery system and VECTORITE™ with CR-7.
Multiple Florida strawberry growers, including a second top-tier producer to adopt the technology, will be using the system on a combined 150 acres of conventional and organic fields. The Company plans its allocation on a forecast of the hives that it expects to sell and service with the BVT system in a specific region, for a specific crop, and for each bloom season. These plans ensure the Company is able to professionally service and support the growers' adoption of its groundbreaking new system giving it the best chance to retain the customer in future growing seasons.
BEE.V planned this particular allocation and ordered the bee hives more than 12 weeks in advance and prior to receiving EPA approval; the lead time is required to allow its commercial bumble bee supplier partners to grow the hives to maturity to ensure strong, healthy bees are available to pollinate blooms for the current strawberry season.
Nov. 21 - Announces Supplementary Non-brokered Private Placement of Special Warrants. For up to 2,857,143 special warrants at a price of $0.35 per Special Warrant for gross aggregate proceeds of up to $1,000,000 (the "Offering").
"Upon receiving our EPA registration in August, we have seen a significant increase in demand for BVT's solutions at a faster rate than we anticipated," stated Ashish Malik, Chief Executive Officer of the Company. "After receiving unsolicited interest, we have elected to move forward with a supplementary offering to ensure we have the working capital we need to execute our go-to-market strategy and to ensure we are able to maximize shareholder value."
Nov. 27 - Completes Phase I Evaluations in Product Extensions For Additional Market and Revenue Opportunities. Completed Phase One lab trials on six third-party products using BEE.V's proprietary bee delivery system. Phase Two field studies on three of those products will commence shortly.
The goal is to open new market opportunities and fast-track additional revenue for BEE.V. Because these microbial candidate products control a different spectrum of crop pests than BEE's proprietary Clonostachys rosea strain CR-7 (CR-7), they can be used on their own in crops where pests controlled by CR-7 are not present, or along with CR-7 on crops that have multiple pests affecting the flower area.
Adding third-party products to existing CR-7 applications is achieved by "stacking" two or more microbes together, a practice already common in seed treatment applications. Using the new products on new crops creates additional revenue streams and will increase revenue from crops that already use CR-7.
"Moving to Phase Two trials with three products is a significant step forward in allowing BVT to develop multiple revenue streams," said Ashish Malik, CEO of Bee Vectoring Technologies. "The products are all commercially available and are already registered in either the US or the European Union".
Nov. 28 - Closes Secondary Non-Brokered Private Placement. Total of 3,047,647 special warrants at $0.35 for gross aggregate proceeds of $1,066,677 (the "Offering"). One additional purchase on exercise at $0.45 cents.
Dec. 4 - Closes Deals with Eight New Georgia Blueberry Growers. The blueberry growers will be using BVT on an estimated 500 combined acres of conventional and organic fields for the 2020 blueberry season in Georgia.
Dec. 11 - Files New Patent for Computer-Controlled Honeybee Hive Dispenser System. Filed an international patent application for the latest version of its honeybee hive dispenser system that is tested and is bringing to market.
BEE.V continues to pursue an aggressive IP strategy, with over 65 patents granted worldwide and over 35 pending,
Jan. 29 - Closes Grower Deals in Three New Markets: Closed five new deals with blueberry growers in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina to use BEE.V's proprietary bee delivery system VECTORITE™ with CR-7, on portions of their crops in the upcoming growing season.
The Company's original target for blueberry growers in the US Southeast was 10 growers and 500 acres; however with these agreements in place BVT has surpassed this goal and will now cover 700 acres with 15 growers across the region.
Feb. 12 - Completes Successful Official Registration Trials Milestone for Commercialization in Mexico. Completed three official registration trials of the Company's proprietary Clonostachys rosea CR-7 (CR-7) biological fungicide on commercial strawberry and tomato crops in Mexico. The remaining registration dossier is being prepared and is planned to be submitted by spring or early summer of this year. "If the regulatory submission process goes as planned without any follow up review required, we could see Mexico registration in place later this year". -Mr. Malik
In anticipation of the commercial launch, the Company has already started market development activities of its proprietary bee vectoring system with delivery of VECTORITE™ with CR-7 by both bumble bees and honeybees. It has completed demonstration trials with two major Mexican berry growers on blueberries and blackberries.
"Currently, Mexico uses US$250 million worth of chemical fungicides per year," continued Mr. Malik. "In addition to the registration trials, demonstration trials with local growers to prove out the efficacy of the technology have been conducted.
Mexico is a significant producer of fresh fruits and vegetables, with US$9.1 billion exported to the US annually.1
Feb. 17 - Opens European Office and R&D Center: A new European office in Switzerland's Agri & Co Innovation Center, where the BEE.V joins other innovative organizations in the country's flourishing ag-tech community.
The move is part of BVT's award in the Agri & Co Challenge. "The goal of the Europe office is to coordinate registration efforts across Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EAME), enable partnership conversations and develop our go-to-market strategy with our North American head office," says Christoph Lehnen, BVT's Business Manager for EAME.
Switzerland, like the rest of Europe, has targeted to reduce the risks of pesticide use by 50%.
Feb. 24 - Announces Acceleration of Warrant Expiry Date: 1,251,000 Unexercised Warrants issued on September 19,2017, extended on August 14, 2019 to expire on September 19, 2020, with an exercise price of $0.35 per common share.
If all outstanding warrants are exercised gross proceeds to the Company will total $437,850. The proceeds from the exercise of Warrants will primarily be used for general corporate and working capital purposes.
Mar. 11 - Contracts with Three New Growers to Kick-Start US West Coast Expansion. Closed three new grower deals with berry producers in Oregon and Washington states. These new customers will use BEE.V's proprietary bee delivery system, VECTORITE™ with CR-7, on portions of their blueberry and raspberry crops in the upcoming growing season.
The newly contracted growers produce blueberries, raspberries and blackberries across the western US region.
The Company's system is in the market at the right time. There is a significant need for alternative plant protection products for berry crops as there is increasing evidence that the efficacy of traditional fungicides is declining.
Apr. 7 - To Begin First Crop Demonstrations in Morocco. BEE.V is also in discussions with well-established commercial partners in the region who have expressed interest in collaborating for growers in Morocco.
"Approximately 40%(1) of Morocco's workforce is employed in the agriculture industry, and it contributes around 16%(2) of the national GDP," said Ashish Malik, CEO of BEE.V. "Morocco has 26,000 hectares (3) of greenhouse production."
Apr. 21 - Sees Strong Endorsement From Georgia Blueberry Growers After Exceptional Preliminary Results. Growers in the region using the BEE.V's proprietary crop protection system have reported notably-high fruit set and low fruit drop, both typical early indicators of a successful, high-yield harvest.
Up next for BEE.V, the berry season in the Pacific Northwest. The Pacific Northwest and Southeastern regions of the US have a combined 60,000(1) acres of cultivated highbush blueberries, account for two-thirds (90,000 acre) of US market.
The Company also announced that it has issued an aggregate of 50,000 restricted share units of the Company ("RSUs") to two consultants of the Company under the Company's shareholder approved restricted share unit plan (the "RSU Plan") as an incentive for the consultants to drive the growth of the Company.
Apr. 28 - Secures At-Will Equity Financing with Alumina Partners Ltd. for up to $6 Million. The financing is at the sole discretion of BEE.V, which provides the Company with the ability to access funds when necessary.
There are no transaction fees associated with the Facility, no minimum amounts that must be drawn down and no penalties in the event that BVT elects not to draw upon the Facility.
Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, the Company has the right to draw down from the Facility for a period of thirty-six months in equity private placement tranches of up to $500,000 (each a "Tranche"). Each Tranche will be at the sole discretion of the Company and can occur at any time upon the Company giving notice to Alumina.
Each Unit shall be priced at a discount of between 15-25% from the closing price of the Shares on the day prior to BVT's draw down notice to Alumina. Each Warrant will be exercisable for a period of twenty four (24) months from the closing date at an exercise price that is a 25% premium to the market price of the Shares.
May 19 - Closes Non-brokered Private Placement. Closed a non-brokered private placement of 1,999,576 units at $0.33 cents for gross aggregate proceeds of $659,860. Warrant at $0.5375 cents.
May 20 - Launches First Cranberry Trials: in Massachusetts and New Jersey , two major cranberry growing regions.
This represents an expansion of BVT into a new crop on the heels of its successful commercialization of their product in the strawberry and blueberry markets.
The trials will be conducted in collaboration with leading cranberry researchers at the University of Massachusetts and New Jersey's Rutgers University on fields from growers who are part of a major US farmer-owned cranberry co-op.
The Company is also in discussions with US Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists based in Wisconsin who are interested in following the work in both Massachusetts and New Jersey.
An estimated 98% of global cranberry production comes from North America, with approximately 41,500 acres(1) and 18,000 acres(2) cultivated across the US and Canada, respectively.
May 27 - Announce Reliance Upon Interim Financial Statement Filing Exemption. The Company expects to report its Interim Filings results on or about June 15, 2020 and is afforded a postponement of up to a maximum 45-day extension pursuant to blanket relief for all market participants granted by the Canadian Securities Administrators RE:COVID-19.
June 9 - Extends stock options at of $0.25 cents and re-priced to $0.285 for next five years.
June 12 - Engages Lytham Partners to Lead U.S. Investor Relations and Shareholder Communication Program. Awarded a six-month consulting contract which can be extended on a quarter-by-quarter basis. The contract includes a quarterly fee of US$15,000 and the ability to receive 50,000 restricted stock units.
June 16 - Expands into US Midwest with Three New Grower Deals. Three new deals with Michigan blueberry growers to use BVT's natural precision agriculture system in the current growing season.
At 90,000(1) acres, the US blueberry market represents about a third of the 270,000(2) acre global market. By adding Michigan's 20,000(3) acres, BVT has now penetrated 83% of the US blueberry market.
"With these new deals, BVT has successfully penetrated key blueberry growing markets throughout the US in a single growing season," said Ashish Malik, CEO of Bee Vectoring Technologies. "Since EPA approval in September 2019, we have entered the Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Oregon and Washington blueberry markets as well as the Florida strawberry market."
A year ago (June 13, 2019) BEE.V articulated its four pillars of growth, these were; 1. Regulatory Approval, for a number of jurisdiction (US, Mexico, Switzerland); 2. A robust commercialization and marketing strategy (Revenue, Crop Validation); 3. Ongoing product development and Innovation (Honey Bee Dispenser, Broadening product portfolio, Foliar Formulation); and 4. A solid corporate strategy, inclusive of partnering and licensing activity.
Approval and Patents.
Much of the success of BEE.V to date has been built on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approval of Clonostachys rosea CR-7 (CR-7) (AKA VECTORITE) for use as a fungicide on commercial crops (Aug. 28, 2019).
CR-7 was not only the first registered active ingredient for BEE.V, but it was also the first active ingredient approved by the EPA for application via bees, known as “bee vectoring,” for strawberries, blueberries, sunflowers and almonds.
The subsequent granted "New Residue Tolerance Exemption" for CR-7 two months later (Oct 30, 2019) was also impressive. As explained in the release: "Unlike many chemical pesticides, there is no requirement to test crops for residual CR-7 since it is deemed safe and not grounds for post-harvest rejection. Tolerance exemption can mean a shorter time to market and greater flexibility for growers since they don't have to wait for residue test results before shipping their crop, or run the risk of it being rejected if they ship and a subsequent test shows there was a residue exceedance."
In addition, BEE.V also filed an international patent application for the latest version of its computer controlled honeybee hive dispenser system that it has tested and intended to bring to market (Dec 11, 2019).
Note that BEE.V has over 65 patents granted worldwide and has 35 pending.
Winning the Agrow Award for "Best Application Technology Innovation" (Nov 13, 2019) was instrumental in assisting the company to set up an European office in Switzerland (Feb 17, 2020) as stated in the release: "The goal of the Europe office is to coordinate registration efforts across Europe, Africa and the Middle East (EAME), enable partnership conversations and develop our go-to-market strategy with our North American head office,"
- Christoph Lehnen, BVT's Business Manager for EAME.
In October 2019, Sizemore Farms (Florida, Strawberries) was disclosed; 100% of 62 acre organic crop with future potential test of fungicide on portion on 600 acres. In November 2019, an unnamed grower was disclosed (Georgia, Blueberries) as well as the announcement that BEE.V was sold out of its planned Florida Allocations with multiple growers (150 acres)! In December 2019, Eight new growers were signed (Georgia, blueberries) for a combined 500 acres. In January 2020, five deals in three markets (Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina) were recorded for Blueberries. These eclipsed BEE.V's original target for blueberry growers in the US Southeast (10 growers and 500 acres) by a significant margin as it reported at the time to have 15 growers with 700 acres across the region.
In March 2020, three more growers were enlisted with berry producers in (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries) in Oregon and Washington States. And more recently in June, another rounds of three growers were announced. This time Michigan (blueberries). Based on acreage estimate, BEE.V reported having penetrated 83% of the US blueberry market.
BEE.V has reported on trials in Mexico, Morocco and the US (MA & NJ).
Mexico: In February 2020, it disclosed the completion of three official registration trials using Clonostachys rosea CR-7 (CR-7) biological fungicide on commercial strawberry and tomato crops. If all goes well with the process, BEE.V expects a potential Mexico registration to occur later this year.
As a reminder, the company pointed out that "Mexico uses US$250 million worth of chemical fungicides per year," and that it is a significant producer of fresh fruits and vegetables, with US$9.1 billion exported to the US annually.
Morocco: In early April 2020, BEE.V announced that it was about to start its First Crop Demonstrations in Morocco.
US (MA & NJ): In May 2020, the company revealed that it was performing trials in Massachusetts and New Jersey, two major cranberry growing regions. These are conducted in collaboration with leading cranberry researchers at the University of Massachusetts and New Jersey's Rutgers University on fields from growers who are part of a major US farmer-owned cranberry co-op. BEE.V also reminded the market that 98% of global cranberry production comes from North America, with about 41,500 acres(1) and 18,000 acres(2) cultivated across the US and Canada, respectively.
In light of all the grower deals, the revenue of the company for the last reported period were $0.21M.
The net loss for Q2 is consistent with previous period except for the previous quarter. As per M&A, "The increase in loss is primarily related to the issuance of stock options during the period and the related expense ($1,575,030), and the
commencement of some investor relations programs".
In the past year, BEE.V disclosed three rounds of non-brokered financing which closed swiftly for the full amount.
1. Oct. 8 2019 - for $1M at $0.25 cents (Warrant; $0.40 cents) closed on Oct 23, 2019 (2 weeks).
2. Nov. 21 2019 - for $1M at $0.35 cents (Warrant; $0.45 cents) closed on Nov 28. 2019 (1 week).
3. May 19 2020 - for $0.65M $0.33 cents (Warrant at $0.5375 cents).
Recently (April 28, 2020), BEE.V secured an At-Will Equity Financing with Alumina Partners Ltd. for up to $6 Million.
Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, the Company has the right to draw down from the Facility for a period of thirty-six months in equity private placement tranches of up to $500,000 (each a “Tranche”). Each Tranche will be at the sole discretion of the Company and can occur at any time upon the Company giving notice to Alumina.
Each Tranche will be comprised of units (“Units“), with each Unit consisting of one common share (each a “Share“) and one common share purchase warrant (each a “Warrant“). Each Unit shall be priced at a discount of between 15-25% from the closing price of the Shares on the day prior to BVT’s draw down notice to Alumina. Each Warrant will be exercisable for a period of twenty four (24) months from the closing date at an exercise price that is a 25% premium.
Also worth mentioning that on Aug. 12 2019, BEE.V extended the term of 1,961,000 common share purchase ($0.35 cents) warrants which was set to expire on September 19, 2019 to September 19, 2020. The company also announced recently,
(Feb 24, 2020) that 1,251,000 Unexercised Warrants issued on September 19,2017, extended on August 14, 2019 to expire on September 19, 2020, with an exercise price of $0.35 per common share.
As noted in the chart there has been quite a few insider sales. These have been done by one individual. While it may not be any cause for alarm, it does not provide good optics especially at this stage of growth the company is experiencing.
One year ago, the company set out a framework that it has successfully executed. The EPA approval has allowed it to move into the commercialization phase. Quickly thereafter BEE.V penetrated the berries market (especially Blueberries) by closing an impressive number of grower deal in a relatively short period of time. In addition, the company won an industry award that assisted with the launched of an European Office. BEE.V also has a number of trials and opportunities US, Mexico, and Morocco which can potentially propel the company into its next growth phase.
However, BEE.V is currently facing a large number (>3M) of upcoming warrant that are set to expire this fall. Moreover, the reported revenues ($0.27M) related with the number of grower deals to date seems low. While BEE.V reports a large addressable market, its unclear what revenues for the current fiscal year investors should expect.
Indeed, BEE.V had a stellar year with a promising future ahead, but at some point it will need to provide guidance.
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