News / Sustainable Food

Artificial Intelligence hives could save the honey bee

Cloud technology will collect data on ‘smart hives’ to understand the decline of honey bee populations and help protect them.

Honey bee. Photo credit: pixabay

Honey bee. Photo credit: pixabay

The World Bee Project ‘Hive Network’ will remotely collect data using a network of connected beehives. The data will then be fed into a cloud hosted by Oracle, which will use analytics tools including artificial intelligence (AI) and data visualisation, to give researchers new insights into the relationships between honey bees and their environments.

The World Bee Project is a member of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Pollinator Advisory Steering Group (PASG). This new Hive Network will allow researchers to ‘listen’ to the honey bees – analysing intricate acoustic data captured inside the smart hives, including the movement of bees’ wings and feet. Combined with other precision measurements – including temperature, humidity and honey yield – researchers will be able to closely monitor bee colonies, detecting patterns and predicting behaviours. This will enable conservationists and bee keepers to take action to protect colonies, such as preventing swarming at the wrong time of year or removing predators like the invasive Asian Hornet. The data and insights gained by using Oracle Cloud will be made available to research and conservation projects working to protect bees around the world.

“Our lives are intrinsically connected to the bees,” said Sabiha Rumani Malik, Founder and Executive President at The World Bee Project CIC. “By protecting bees and other pollinators we can help solve problems with global food supply and poverty and reduce further loss of biodiversity and damage of ecosystems. Our partnership with Oracle Cloud is an extraordinary marriage between nature and technology. It will engage the public into caring more and more for pollinators, it will enable advanced research and, crucially, action on a scale previously impossible to achieve. The more we understand the relationships between pollination, food and human wellbeing, the more we can do to protect bees and pollinators – and help protect our planet and ourselves.”

Published 18 Oct 2018

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