Saving the Bees with Big Data Analytics and AI

29 July 2019

“If bees die out, humans have only four years to live.” This statement has been widely quoted and is often attributed to Albert Einstein, although there seems to be no evidence that he actually said it.

But whoever said it, and whether or not the “four years” figure is correct, the sentence points to an incredibly important truth: over three-quarters of food production around the world depends on the actions of natural pollinators (mainly bees); but also, that pollinators are dying out at an alarming rate, around 30% per year. This is jeopardizing our food supply (that’s $600 billion worth of agricultural activity) and 1.4 billion agriculture-dependent livelihoods.

And, no one actually knows why this decline is happening.

There are several plausible hypotheses, including pesticide over-use, global deforestation, the increase in mono-agro practices (farming a single product) and even the actions of individual beekeepers in encouraging the wrong sort of bees (non-indigenous ones) in their hives. It’s probably a combination of these. But no one actually knows.

Evidence is badly, and urgently, needed.

A non-profit organization, The World Bee Project (WBP), has been launched to try to address this problem, backed by scientists from the University of Reading in the UK. Oracle, through its Tech for Good initiative, forms the third leg of the project, supporting the WBP by giving it free consulting, some money for kit (e.g., sensors) and, perhaps most important, use of its cloud storage and analytics tools.

Other News:

WORLD BEE DAY 2020

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The World Bee Project launched the World Bee Count 2020 on 20 May with the aim of amplifying the importance of pollinators through social media sharing. People everywhere were invited to take a picture of the nearest pollinator they could find and upload it to an interactive Global Pollinator Map, using a free mobile World Bee Count app.

World Bee Day: How to collect big data (on tiny creatures)

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The World Bee Project and Oracle are working together to study the secret life of bees—and that means a network of hive sensors, AI, and some serious cloud-computing clout. As a child, Sabiha Rumani Malik would listen to the bees. She recalls hearing them buzzing...

How Artificial Intelligence, IoT And Big Data Can Save The Bees

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Modern agriculture depends on bees. In fact, our entire ecosystem, including the food we eat and the air we breathe, counts on pollinators. But the pollinator population is declining according to Sabiha Rumani Malik, the founder and executive president of The World...