Modern agriculture depends on bees. In fact, our entire ecosystem, including the food that we eat and the air we breathe, counts on pollinators. However, the pollinator population is declining based on Sabiha Rumani Malik, the founder and executive president of The World Bee Project. However, in an intriguing alliance with Oracle and by putting artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and big data to work on the problem, they hope to reverse the trend.
Why is the worldwide bee population decline?
According to an Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report, pollinators are in danger. There are many reasons pollinators are being pushed to extinction, such as habitat destruction, urbanization, use of pesticides, pollution, fragmentation of natural flowering structures, parasites, and predators, and changing climate. However, until recently, with The World Bee Project’s job, there hasn’t been a global initiative to study bee people or to research and attack the issue from a global perspective.
Why is it important to save the bees?
Did you know that bees, together with other pollinators, such as butterflies, are why plants can produce seeds and reproduce? Actually, in order to be sure the almond harvest gets pollinated in California annually, the majority of the beehives in the USA are sent to California to ensure it. In reality, bees help pollinate 90 percent of the top global crop types, such as fruit trees, vanilla, coffee, and cotton plants. And, of course, healthy plants are critical in replenishing our oxygen supply because of photosynthesis.
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If the pollinators are not living or healthy enough to do their job, our global crop production, food safety, biodiversity, and clean air is in peril. Honeybees are the world’s most important pollinators. As much as 40% of the international nutrient source for humans is dependent on pollinators.
Partnership to monitor global honeybee population
The World Bee Project is the first private globally coordinated company to launch and be dedicated to tracking the global honey bee population. Since 2014, the company has attracted scientists to examine the global problem of bee decline to provide insight into the issue to farmers, governments, beekeepers, and other vested associations.
How technology could rescue the bees
How could technology be used to save the bees? Technology can be leveraged to help save the bees in a similar manner it is applied to other advanced projects. First, using internet-of-things detectors, including microphones and cameras which can observe invasive predators and gather information from the bees and hives. Human ingenuity and innovations like wireless technologies, robotics, and computer vision aid deliver new insights and solutions to this matter. One of the major metrics of a hive’s health is that it produces. Critical to the data-gathering attempts would be to”listen” into the extremes to ascertain colony health, strength, and behavior as well as gather temperature, humidity, apiary weather conditions, and hive weight.
The sound and vision sensors can also detect hornets, which is a danger to bee populations.
The information is then fed to the Oracle Cloud, in which artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms have to work to analyze the information. The algorithms will start looking for patterns and attempt to predict behaviors of the hive, like if it’s planning to swarm. The insights are subsequently shared with beekeepers and conservationists so they can step in to try to safeguard the hives. As it’s a globally connected network, the algorithms may also find out more about differences in bee colonies in different areas of the planet. Students, researchers, as well as interested citizens can also interact with the information, use it via the hive network’s open API, and discuss it through the chatbot.
By way of instance, the vision and sound sensors can discover hornets, which is a threat to bee populations. The noise from the wing flab or even a hornet is different from people’s bees, and the AI can pick up this automatically and alert beekeepers into the hornet threat.
Technology is making it easier for The World Bee Project to share real-time information and collect resources to help save the planet’s bee population. In reality, Malik shared, “Our partnership with Oracle Cloud is an outstanding marriage between nature and technology.” Technology is helping to multiply the effects of The World Bee Project Hive Network across the world and take action to save the bees faster and more effective.