The World Bee Project Hive Network will use AI ‘smart hives’ to collect data on honey bees to give researchers new insights into the relationships between honey bees and their environments.
Cloud company Oracle has partnered with The World Bee Project for the scheme, which will allow researchers in the UK to ‘listen’ to honey bees, analysing intricate acoustic data captured inside the smart hives, including the movement of bees’ wings and feet.
Researchers will also be able to analyse other precision measurements, including temperature, humidity and honey yield, which they say will help them closely monitor bee colonies, detect patterns and predict behaviours.
The data will also help conservationists and beekeepers to take action to protect colonies, such as preventing swarming at the wrong time of year or removing predators like the invasive Asian Hornet.
Bees are responsible for pollinating one-third of the global food supply, however, England’s honey bees are disappearing quicker than anywhere else in Europe.
‘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.’
The World Bee Project CIC partners with the University of Reading School of Agriculture, Policy and Development.
Watch a video about the technology below.