Artificial intelligence and connected beehives could help stop the decline of the honey bee, with the launch of a global monitoring network to listen in to hives around the world. Stuart McDill reports.

Can artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning help save the world’s bees? That’s the hope of scientists who are scrambling to reverse the dramatic declines in bee populations.

It’s the start of what Oracle, working with the The World Bee Project, hopes will be a global network of beehives connected to their cloud and analyzed with artificial intelligence. In recent years, pollinator species like honeybees have dwindled dramatically, stricken by disease, climate change, pesticides, and stress. Through this new method of data collection and analysis, the partnership wants to give pollinators a shot at survival.

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.

A global beehive monitoring network has been launched using big data analytics and cloud technology to produce the first ever global picture of the state of the world’s bee population.

The World Bee Project Hive Network will eventually analyse huge amounts of data from beehives around the world and thanks to Oracle Cloud provide access to the data for governments, policy makers, scientists, researchers, farmers, food producers and beekeepers.

Database giant Oracle and The World Bee Project have announced an initiative that aims to use advanced computing and analytics tools to better understand the decline in bee populations and help protect them, an apparent world-first.

BBC World Service Science in Action

Why Free Movement is Crucial for Science

Why Free Movement is Crucial for Science. Also how cloud-sharing data from beehives help us understand these pollinators, and insight into where early fish evolved and diversified.

Roland Pease meets John Able and Professor Simon Potts, to discuss the value of ‘big data’ – in this case, for honeybees. Using a ‘buzz box’ to detect conditions inside and out of the beehive, this data can be transmitted to the cloud and used to keep track of beehive health. This is termed the ‘internet of hives’ and provides a huge amount of high quality data to discover the key indicators of beehive health.

The Naked Scientists

Keeping bees buzzing

Bees are critical to our continued existence. They pollinate our food, taking pollen from one plant to another, allowing them to reproduce. Without them, humanity would, quite frankly, begin to starve. So anything that helps them is welcome. A company called Oracle technology, in conjunction with the World Bee Project, have created a system that pools the data of sensors into one, big, accurate database, keeping beekeepers up to date - talk about a hive mind! Adam Murphy spoke to John Abel, Vice-President of Cloud Technology for Oracle UK, Ireland and Israel. Turns out we have a lot to thank bees for!

Computer technology giant Oracle has partnered with the World Bee Project in the UK to monitor honey bee populations using its cloud technology platform.

Starting in the UK, the initiative, dubbed The World Bee Project Hive Network, will use sensing technology to measure conditions in beehives to try and determine the reason for the mass decline in honey bee populations globally.

Oracle and The World Bee Project have announced a world-first approach to understanding the declines of honey bee populations and helping protect them. The new programme uses cloud technology to better understand honey bees, the world’s most important single species of pollinator in agricultural ecosystems.