Oracle, Reading University, BerryWorld farms

Happy Bees are more productive


Fruit production is now a billion pound industry in the UK and major soft fruit growers have a huge interest in understanding how commercial bees operate. While big fruit manufacturers often have substantial budgets for the maintenance of managed bee colonies, current industry best practices for hive management are typically based on outdated or incomplete data. For both commercial and environmental reasons, fruit growers urgently need new data about how bees behave to maximise their yield, quality, and production.

The goal of this project is to closely observe beehives across a selection of UK farms to uncover what makes the bees thrive as pollinators. This study involves both traditional and on-site survey data.  The traditional data  is being collected by Professor Simon Potts’ team at University of Reading, and large volumes of IoT sensor data is being collected by the in-hive sensors The World Bee Project technology partner Bee Hero have installed.  The sensors at the  farms capture hive temperature, humidity, in-hive acoustics, and the entry and exit of each bee at 15-minute intervals. After the IoT sensor data has been captured and processed by Bee Hero it is transferred to an Oracle Autonomous Database for further insights.

Data scientist Andy Welch supports The World Bee Project team in collecting, analysing, and visualising the huge and complex data sets generated by the sensors, as well as  field observations of honeybee and wild bee colonies at the farms, in partnership with Professor Simon Potts’ research team and the Oracle for Research team.

Together, the University of Reading, The World Bee Project and Oracle for Research are helping to establish a new standard in optimal management of bee pollination to enable better soft fruit crop yields whilst ensuring a healthy and sustainable environment for wild bees and other insects.  The partners aim to deliver a better understanding of the delicate balance between farming practices, pollinators, the climate, and the local environment, as well as new tools and guidelines to support this.

For the progress update, click here

Bee trips per day. Each colour represents a cluster of 3 hives.

Average bee trips per hour. Each colour represents a cluster of 3 hives.

Bee trips per day for 3 hives (lines) versus Rainfall (bars).


7 days of acoustic data from one of the hives


Other Projects

Restoring Beekeeping & Pollination, Ukraine

Restoring Beekeeping & Pollination, Ukraine

Until the Russian invasion, there were 4 – 6 million beehives in Ukraine and around 250,000 beekeepers. Ukraine was the largest exporter of honey to the European Union. No longer.

The World Bee Mark©

The World Bee Mark©

The World Bee Project CIC is a partner in the European consortium ALLIANCE, which has won a 3-year European Commission HORIZON-CL6-2022-FARM2FORK Grant Award.