Nature, People and Technology

With food security, biodiversity and pollination under critical global threat, the more we know about the over 40 varieties of  honey bees and the 20,000 + other wild bees, and pollinators such as butterflies and moths, the more we will understand about plant pollination services and the interactions between agro-ecosystems and pollination management, and how to conserve and manage them to maintain biodiversity, ensure ecosystem health and improve human livelihoods.

We partnered with Oracle Cloud to remotely connect hives to the World Bee Project Hive Network, to increase food security and livelihoods around the world by combining AI and sensor systems to provide critical knowledge and insights that enhance the livelihoods of the hundred of millions of smallholder farmers around the world.

The World Bee Project Hive Network is an international network of remotely monitored honey bee (Apis Mellifera) hives which connects to the Oracle Cloud to harvest, analyse, and share vital data. Working with Oracle allows The World Bee Project Hive Network to provide a scalable, secure, global system.

The World Bee Project Hive Network blends sensor systems, machine learning, data analysis, and technology, with world leading research to expand the knowledge base and garner crucial and unprecedented insights into the relationships between honey bees and their environments. By using Oracle’s Autonomous database and Analytics, AI, analytics, and data visualizations, The World Bee Project Hive Network is able to monitor pollinator decline and deficits, assess socio-economic values, and understand plant/pollinator interactions by spotting patterns, trends and correlations. As data builds up, machine learning will use pattern matching that is guided by experts.

The World Bee Project Hive Network’s primary goals are:

  1. Provide the ability for any beehive in The World Bee Project Hive Network to connect into the Oracle Cloud

  2. Define an open specification for API

  3. Provide data analytics that benefit Farmers, Beekeepers, Scientists, Researchers, Policy Makers, and Governments.  

  4. To enhancing understanding of and reduce the global pollination decline  

  5. To drive STEM (Now STEAM) through technology. We encourage schools to use our kits to work with local beekeepers to capture data for The World Bee Project Hive Network.  

The World Bee Project Hive Network collects data to:

  • Gain an understanding of hive data related to open public data (e.g. weather, mapping, and infrastructure) which means we can guide Farmers and Beekeepers globally on how to manage successful pollination.

  • Learn how stressors like pesticides and climate change affect pollinators.

  • Contribute to worldwide action to monitor bee and pollinator decline.

  • Identify practices and build capacity in the management of pollination services for sustainable agriculture

  • Improve food security, nutrition and livelihoods.

  • Generate insights on the impact of factors such as land use, agricultural practices and forage quality on the health and productivity of honey bees and bumblebees.

  • Better understanding of diseases, parasites and predatory species and the development of control measures.

  • Improve understanding of pollination deficits

  • Refine understanding of agri-environment monitoring and evaluation and strengthen existing surveillance

  • Support the needs of policy

The sensor technology help build more resilient honeybee colonies by helping beekeepers to manage colonies; timing inspections, feeding, hive manipulations and treatments more accurately whilst minimizing disruption to the colony. Among many other measuring factors, the sensors can:

  • Predict if a honey bee colony is about  to swarm. This is vital data for a beekeeper as it is one of the key management tasks during the beekeeping season.

  • Inform beekeepers of various different states of the colony throughout the year to aid colony management.

  • Remotely identify and alert beekeepers of: queenless-ness, low food stores, robbing (by wasps/other bees, which can decimate a colony), queen mating flights (also critical), nectar flow/dearth, when supers need removing/adding and, more recently attack by Asian Hornet.  

The technology aids in the development of data driven best practices and beekeeper training and education. Specific information on colony status helps improve productivity and honey yields, combat the spread of disease, parasites and pests.