Friday, May 20th, is the day the world comes together to celebrate bees. It was chosen for World Bee Day in honor of the birthday of a pioneer of modern beekeeping, Anton Janša, and is recognized by the UN General Assembly. While it might seem like just about everything has its own day now, bees are an extremely important part of our ecosystem, so bees are worth celebrating, in this case marveling at some wonderful AI that helps keep them alive and healthy.
AIs are being trained to do all sorts of amazing things, like make pizzas, control nuclear fusionand even Make art. According TechXploreIn the Galilee region of Israel, AIs are being integrated into beehives by the startup Beewiseand are helping to automatically monitor the bees and their needs.
The 24 hives cared for by this AI were named Beehome and are currently located in the Kibbutz Beit HaEmek farming community in northern Israel. Built into the hives is an all-in-one AI robot trained to monitor and care for the bees.
The Beehome is powered by solar energy and maintains the hives by dispensing sugar, water and medication when needed, as well as keeping an eye on the condition of the hives. It can control pests, prevent swarms, automate honey harvesting, and alert beekeepers to problems in real-time via an app. This also allows beekeepers to do many simple tasks remotely, rather than having to disturb the hive.
“The robot is equipped with sensors that let it know what is happening in the hive’s frames,” said Beewise’s director of operations, Netaly Harari. “Thanks to artificial intelligence, our software knows what the bees need.” All of this not only helps beekeepers, but also helps the bees themselves.
Bees have been going through a difficult situation for some time now. Between pesticides, climate change and other factors, the bee population has taken a heavy hit in recent times, and these automated hives are expected to help future generations of bees. Given how much our food supply depends on these tiny pollinators, this seems like a great way to use AI to improve countless lives, insects, and more.