The United States will model the feeding of bees using AI

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The United States will model the feeding of bees using AI

Beekeeping is one of the mainstays of agriculture in the United States. Products from industry contribute each year to over $300 million revenue to the US economy. However, the sector has been in decline since 2006 following an epidemic that decimated many colonies. This is why the United States Department of Agriculture has just released a $1.5 million grant to support research on certified organic bee products.

Beekeepers surrounded by hives

Thanks to a adapted diethoney bees will be able to produce honey, wax or royal jelly certified organic. These bee products have a much higher market value. However, the organic farms are still struggling to meet the requirements for organic certification, in particular that on the pesticide-free zoning.

The researchers who conducted the study then plan to rely on technology to solve this problem. They already foresee the use of several innovative devices.

Beekeepers struggle to meet organic certification requirements

Research funding is therefore double scope. First, intensive beekeeping will have a positive impact on the environment. Second, developing new production methods will help farms get easier their organic certification.

Beekeepers in the continental United States are still struggling to produce organic honey. Project leader Margarita López-Uribe recalled that for respect pesticide-free zoning, it is necessary to maintain a radius of at least 3 kilometers without pesticides around the colonies. This 3 kilometer zone was established based on the maximum foraging distance honey bees.

Improve the floral map to optimize bee feeding

The first results of the work carried out by López-Uribe and his team are very encouraging. Researchers have found that honey bee foraging depends mainly on the context in which this foraging takes place. The foraging area of ​​small colonies is much smaller, especially in very flowery areas.

The researchers then plan to follow the movements of the bees bees using automated tag readers and harmonic radar. The data collected will allow them to characterize the foraging patterns bees based on colony size and floral resources.


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