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.
‘The World Bee Project Hive Network’ will remotely collect data using a network of connected beehives. The data will then be fed into Oracle’s Cloud, 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 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 value of the data is in informing beekeepers of various different states of the colony throughout the year to aid colony management.