Since the 1990s, beekeepers around the world have witnessed the inexplicable disappearance of bees from their hives. This tragedy not only affects the supply of succulent honey; They are also the flower and plant pollinators that play an important role in Earth’s ecosystems and are the source of a third of our food. Many melitologists, horticulturists, and beekeepers alike blame this decline on increased use of pesticides on plants and crops, as well as the effects of climate change.
In order to better understand how the bees and why their populations are in decline, the engineers of Intel are partnering with CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, to create micro “backpacks” that are compatible with bees, to track their movements.
Using the “Edison Breakout Board” kit from Intel, a customizable computing platform, barely bigger than a postage stamp, beekeepers around the world will be able to track bee behavior. bees and collect potentially crucial data to save them.
In turn, the information collected will be part of the Global Initiative for Honey Bee Health (GIHH), an international alliance of researchers, beekeepers, farmers and technology companies that aims to understand better why the colonies of bees healthy are in decline.
Micro-sensor kits IntelDeveloped largely by engineers in Israel, they will track behavior and activity via small radio frequency identification (RFID) tags that will be affixed to the back of selected bees. Tags will inform the board Intel Edison on the passage of the bees, letting know how many returned to the hive, as well as other environmental information, including humidity levels around the hive, temperature and solar radiation.
“The colonies of bees they are collapsing all over the world and we do not know why, “said prof. Paulo de Souza from CSIRO. “Due to the urgent and global nature of this issue, we saw the need to develop a methodology that any scientist could easily implement. In this way we can share and compare data from around the world for collaborative research on the health of women. bees. This joint effort is a fantastic example of the Internet of Things ”.
It is expected that the information collected by the Edison platform from Intel is even more detailed than the standard mechanisms for measuring the behavior of bees. The captured data will be sent to the CSIRO Portal. The researchers will then compose a comprehensive 3D model to visualize how the bees they move across the landscape. This will give researchers insight into their world, behaviors, and responses to stress levels that can affect their health and pollination patterns.
This methodology is being applied by the CSIRO in Hobart, Tasmania, where more than 10,000 sensors are installed on the backs of the bees. Following the success of that project, CSIRO is now seeking worldwide collaboration to make this a global research effort.