Could AI Save The Bees?

Researchers in the UK sure hope it can.

Bees are not in good shape at the moment. They’re in trouble. Populations are shrinking all over the world and nobody quite knows why.

Scientists are unsure what is causing the decline in bees everywhere. It could be global warming, it could be insecticides, it could be pollution, it could be that they’ve seen the news and are just getting out of here.

What's happened to all the bees?

Without the data to confirm any of these possibilities scientists remain in the dark. Not even the informative, awareness-raising, definitely a documentary Bee Movie could help answer these questions.

As important as An Inconvenient Truth

Oracle and the World Bee Project (a project about bees, not a project run by bees) are creating AI run "smart hives" that produce real-time data on the bees and their environment and pump that sweet data to scientists eager for the info.

How it works is they fit out a bee hive with up to six different sensors which capture all the sounds of the bees; their buzzing, the way their little feet and wings move, and it also records details like how much their honey weighs, the humidity of the hive, the weather outside of the hive and the air quality around the hive.

Quick, let's find out what happened to the bees!

John Abel, vice-president of cloud and technology at Oracle, told the BBC that “Sound is probably the most important data set. We convert it into a data feed and use this via machine learning to inform the beekeeper. And with Oracle Cloud we can get lots of data into it very quickly - we've got technology which is self-learning, self-tuning and self-patching, so it can automate what it needs to do."

All this data will help scientists get to the bottom of why the bees are disappearing, and hopefully reverse the trend. Eventually they want to roll the AI technology to hives around the globe.