Artificial Intelligence: Beewise Offers The Earth’s First Robotic Beehive

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The solar and AI-powered Beehomes protect bees, and hence, the global food supply chain.

Agtech startup Beewise warns of an immediate and serious threat to the global food supply from the 35% global annual decline in bee colonies. Keeping bee colonies safe, well and preventing them from collapsing would allow for more pollination, as well as increased production of honey. Beewise has reinvented the traditional beehive, dating from 150 years back, and its Beehomes are solar-powered, AI-enabled, and armed with robotics to keep the bees safe, healthy, and productive. (Forbes)

“Honey bees are a critical link in U.S. agricultural production,” says the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the USDA. “Pollination by managed honey bee colonies adds at least $15 billion to the value of U.S. agriculture annually through increased yields and superior-quality harvests.”

Beewise

The Beewise system automates typical bee management operations such as pollination, honey production, and reproduction.

“Beehome reduces bee mortality by 80%, resulting in increased yields of at least 50% while eliminating ~90% of manual labor when compared to traditional beehives,” said Saar Safra, CEO of Beewise to Forbes.

Beehomes

The Beehome system, which is solar-powered and comprises 24 hives, includes an automated robotic brood box management system, a computer vision-based monitoring system, and AI-based decision making and predictive analytics.

Also included are an automated honey harvesting system, and an automated system for pest control, feeding, and thermoregulation.

The Beehomes are meant for commercial beekeepers that operate on a large scale with thousands of beehives and a large workforce of beekeepers and unskilled labor.

Consider this: A Beehome houses 720 honeycombs (from 24 bee colonies each having 30 honeycombs) and between one to two million bees.

“This is a classic, chaotic system that presents significant challenges monitoring the bees (system), identifying their needs (in real-time), and addressing such needs in a precise manner without harming the bees. No human or program can achieve this feat, except for AI,” says Safra.

Multiple vision sensors inside the Beehomes transmit data to an AI and machine learning system that formats it into video or images. A neural network then analyzes this in real-time and sends out recommendations and alerts.

For instance, Beehomes detect frames that are ready to be harvested and harvests them within the Beehome. Once a container of honey reaches capacity (100 gallons), the system sends out an alert to the beekeeper to come and empty it — making the process clean and efficient.

Colony collapse

Colony collapse is a serious problem afflicting beekeeping in the US. The ARS defines the syndrome as “a dead colony with no adult bees and with no dead bee bodies but with a live queen, and usually honey and immature bees, still present.”

According to Beewise, 35% of US bee colonies collapse annually, which means a loss of both pollination and honey production.

However, the Beewise monitoring system identifies issues faced by the bees in real-time, allowing owners to take timely remedial action.

“By lowering colony collapse to less than 10%, we are preventing the loss of significant ‘pollination-power,’ and by that improving the stability of food supply,” says Safra.

Related Story: AI And High-Tech Cameras To Protect Bees From Deadly Mites

Image Credit of BeeHome: Beewise                                                  

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