The Internet of Bees is going beyond to gather feedback from widely diverse contexts. Among these efforts, IoBee also reached California, USA, to collect data on almond fields. Thanks to the technological developments of the project, partners worked together with local beekeepers and farmers. After the installation of monitoring devices in almond fields, the world-renowned American Bee Journal (ABJ) featured IoBee in one of its articles.

Randy Oliver is an expert beekeeper, researcher and author of the article on ABJ. He introduces the technological developments of the IoBee project in one of his most recent research projects. As he presents the discussion on the use of pesticides and the call for sustainability, he also features a research project. To better understand the effects of fungicides on bees, Mr Oliver is currently making use of IoBee digital sensors to monitor the impact of fungicides on bees.

The current research takes place by considering the effects of pesticide-use on bees and the discussion between growers and beekeepers. In the article, there is even a mention of the growing demand for more sustainable practices and products, which impacts the market. One of the main challenges which, according to Oliver, goes hand in hand with the search for sustainability is the increase in pesticide resistance.

IoBee featured in the American Bee Journal

However, farming practices that influence bee health are continuously changing due to this situation. The constant communication between farmers and beekeepers leads in some cases towards working together to improve conditions. One example is the decrease of pesticide use in almond fields in the United States, which has seen a notable improvement in bee-safe practices.

From these concerns of safer use of pesticides, Mr Oliver initiated his recent research on fungicide effects on bees. Thanks to the assistance of IoBee’s partner, Huw Evans, founder of Arnia, digital monitoring is taking an essential role in measuring the impact of fungicides. One of the main findings so far is the correlation between the spraying of Bravo fungicide and the drop in foraging activity, “suggesting that the bees avoided foraging or were killed”.

IoBee monitoring systems and interface are helping researchers as Randy Oliver understand better the challenges their bees are facing. Thanks to parameters such as weight, activity, temperature and flight time, more precise observations are possible. Not only this, but IoBee is presenting a more reliable system, avoiding glitches that Mr Oliver has encountered with other previously tested monitoring systems. He even stated that “we owe thanks to Arnia and the European research project IoBee”.

Installation of monitoring systems in California

IoBee continues moving forward in its developments. The project is reaching new frontiers, and all partners are working hard to provide the beekeeping community and researchers with a valuable tool to accurately and timely assess the health of bees. Today, we celebrate the new reach of the project, along with the recognition it gains in the American Bee Journal.