Beekeeping Is Going High Tech

If there is one animal we don’t give enough credit to, it’s the humble bee. It is a little-known fact that bees are vital to the food industry. Not only do they produce honey, they are also responsible for pollinating our fruits and vegetables. While there are ways we can contribute to the save-the-bees campaign, we rely mostly on beekeepers. To make their jobs easier, Open Source Beehives has come out with the BuzzBox, helping beekeepers to better manage their bees.

The BuzzBox is a solar-powered plug-in beehive sensor that enables users to monitor the activities in their colonies by listening to and analyzing the sounds in the hives. Along with tracking the internal and external temperatures of the hives, and the humidity and barometric pressure, a microphone monitors a hive’s sounds and passes those “honeybee audio signals” on to a real-time audio analysis system that delivers “hive health updates” to the user’s smartphone via an app.

To analyze beehive behaviors, Open Source Beehives compiled hours of beehive audio. With this new technology, BuzzBox can identify regular and irregular noises. Now that’s high tech.

“The goal is two-fold. By identifying when colonies reach a state of near-collapse, we can correlate their signals with hypothesized causes, such as pesticide exposure and parasite infestation. And we can warn beekeepers of imminent danger so they can intervene and attempt to save their hives.”

That’s quite the buzz for today.

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