Fighting Honey-Bee Colony Mortality through IoT

IoBee is an EU-funded project aiming to disrupt the bee-keeping market by providing effective, timely and user-friendly monitoring systems. The project focuses on the development and integration of different technologies to monitor pollinators and their environment. The IoBee project concluded in April 2020, with the development of in-hive and in-field monitoring, as well as the implementation of satellite imagery and Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS). IoBee also initiated the first steps in the construction of a platform to integrate and communicate on pollinator-related data from various sources, The Bee Hub.


Are you interested in monitoring systems developed and perfected during the IoBee project?

Contact our project partners directly for more information on hardware.

Bee counters and IoT application: Canetis

Optoelectronic sensor to monitor density and diversity of pollinators: Irideon

THE SITUATION

“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, man would only have four years left to live”
Albert Einstein

For the past 25 years, European beekeepers have been reporting weakening bee numbers and colony losses, and the situation is worsening. According to the EU Reference Laboratory (EURL) for honey-bee health, some countries in the EU are losing up to a third of their colonies every year.

The most important contribution bees make to agriculture is the pollination service they provide. The direct value of honey produced in the EU is estimated at €140 million, while the value of insect pollination for European agriculture has been estimated to be approximately €20 billion per year, and €153 billion worldwide.

Pollinators’ decline brings along a significant loss of pollination services, which have negative ecological and economic impacts affecting the maintenance of wild plant diversity, large-scale ecosystem stability with potentially harmful effects on crop production, food security and human welfare.

Honeybee mortality in the EU 2013. Anything above 10% is unacceptable according to experts.

“The Plight of the Honeybee” article published in Time Magazine August 19, 2013.

HOW IoBee WORKS

IoBee sets itself apart from numerous Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) sensing solutions being sold today to equip beehives… it is the missing disruptive technology to complement them!

The basic tool perfected in IoBee is a Bee Counter installed at the entrance of the hive to monitor bee traffic. The counter also detects pests and provides insights on the status of the colony.

IoBee also developed a sensor to monitor the density and diversity of pollinators in the field. This monitor aims at replacing traditional insect traps, avoiding harming insects and reducing manual labour.

Finally, IoBee pairs monitoring with satellite imagery through which predictive models are created to provide important information for beekeepers and environmental authorities such as phenology periods and land use.

Thanks to these tools, beekeepers, researchers and public authorities can improve their role as active participants in colony surveillance programmes. With unprecedented accuracy and responsiveness, these tools open new possibilities in reducing labour costs of manual inspections. Thanks to IoBee’s monitoring, healthy or threatened colonies can be remotely detected with greater precision, saving millions of Euros in potential losses.

IoBee has jump-started the possibility to set-up an integrative platform to centralise, process and communicate on pollinator-related data, The Bee Hub. The platform is conceived to integrate different data sources ranging from digital monitoring to manual observations and other research from individual beekeepers, beekeeping associations, academia and institutional efforts. Connected systems or observations can directly feed this new platform. The information collected by each data provider, can provide bee health/threat/mortality status information as well as relevant environmental data at regional and national scales. Therefore, it introduces regional and national authorities to a powerful tool to understand at a higher level the impacts and risks imposed by the presence disease, pests, or environmental risks . As IoBee follows IoT and Geospatial standards ensuring full interoperability, EU countries using this system can share their data at a transnational level between themselves and with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), other authorities (e.g. EEA), and professional networks (e.g. Bee2Bees and COLOSS), establishing the 1st EU Bee Health surveillance network, The Bee Hub.

FEATURED NEWS

Preparing for final stages of the project after M24 meeting

The Internet of Bees is reaching its final stages of development. After 24 months of continuous work on three pillars (in-hive and in-field monitoring, and spatial decision support systems SDSS), the project moves forward to a final phase of testing and validation....

read more

Each IoBee module will be able to:

Automatically count bees entering / exiting the hive, with higher accuracy.
Profile bees’ bioacoustic fingerprint as normal (healthy) or abnormal (unhealthy) and assess the potential risk of abnormal mortality.
Automatically detect the potential presence of invasive species (wasps, moths, flies, beetles, Africanized bees, etc.) that may harm the colony or bring diseases.
Collect, share data and analyze information of importance, and simulate the spread of infectious bee diseases / pests.
Provide a space-time information system that integrates data in one information environment for planning and decision.

PARTNERS

The consortium

The consortium has the complementary business capabilities, commercial networks and research expertise to guarantee a quick route to market for the technology, driven by: IRIDEON expert in IoT Sensor Applications, Avia-GIS expert in Insect Spatial Decision Support Systems and Arnia expert in smart beehive systems. These will be supported by TEIC, expert in Insect Bioacoustics, Pattern Recognition and Acoustic Surveillance, and Bee Life European Beekeeping Coordination.

IRIDEON SL (Coordinator) – Spain

IRIDEON SL is a Spanish-German company founded by a multidisciplinary team of engineers with experience in industry and academia. Since 2011 this team provides technical consultancy services and solutions to SMEs and research organizations throughout Europe, primarily in the field of information and communications technologies (ICT) and sensor systems.

www.irideon.eu

Canetis – Italy

Canetis SRL was established in 2019. It supplies state of the art remote hive monitoring technology that generates vital data for beekeepers, scientists, food producers and governments worldwide. Its unique combination of sensors, powerful analytics and cloud computing provide real time insight into colony health and behaviour that would otherwise be unattainable.

 

Hellenic Mediterranean University – Greece

The Hellenic Mediterranean University (HMU), ex Technological Education Institute of Crete, has a history of about 40 years, that of the Technological Educational Institution of Crete, and offers high quality undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Informatics and Engineering Sciences, Health, Agriculture and Food, Economics and Management and Environment . HMU through its heritage is consistently valued as a leading among its peers in research and enjoys recognition for its direct contribution to the development of Crete and Greece.

https://hmu.gr

Avia-GIS BVBA – Belgium

Avia-GIS bvba, “Agriculture and Veterinary Information and Analysis” is a Belgian SME founded in 2001 that specializes in the collection, processing and analysis of spatial information as a basis for the development of data driven space-time information systems applied to veterinary and public health in general and (emerging) zoonoses and vector-borne diseases (VBD) in particular.

www.avia-gis.com

Bee Life European Beekeeping Coordination – Belgium

BeeLife European Beekeeping Coordination is a non-profit organisation composed by beekeepers from the different EU Member States who share the same goal to protect bees. Bee Life welcomes members ranging from beekeeping and agricultural organisations to pollinator protection NGOs.Currently, its members spread to Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, Spain and Sweden. However, BeeLife’s network within the beekeeping sector goes far beyond these countries.

www.bee-life.eu

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 760342.