More than 70 percent of crops, including almost all fruits, vegetables, oilseeds, spices, coffee and cocoa are dependent on pollinators such as bees
They function as normal hives, but apiaries built at a kibbutz in Israel’s Galilee are decked out with high-tech artificial intelligence systems set to ensure longevity for these vital pollinators.
“There are two million bees here,” said Shlomki Frankin as he walks into a 12-square-metre container in Kibbutz Beit Haemek in northern Israel.
The 41-year-old told AFP that the hives feature a multi-purpose robot that does everything from monitor the bees to adjust the habitat and provide them with care.
– Artificial intelligence –
“Thanks to artificial intelligence, our software knows what the bees need,” she explained in the workshop where the hives are assembled.
If a problem comes up, the beekeeper is alerted through an application, allowing for intervention remotely via computer, or in person if necessary.
By the end of May, the startup hopes to be producing its own honey for the first time — the “first honey in the world made with artificial intelligence”, she enthused.
They “save a lot of time”, he continued, because they allow him to “do a lot of simple things remotely”.
Beewise is eyeing a foothold in the European market in two years.
– World Bee Day –
“Sometimes, a beekeeper takes several months to realise there is a problem,” he told AFP, adding that “with the robot, beekeepers can deal with the problem in real-time, reducing the bees’ mortality rates”.
Shafir points in particular to the “decline in fields of flowers due to construction, which has reduced the sources and diversity of food for bees”.
“In Israel, between 20 and 30 percent of hives disappear every year,” the entomologist said.
More than 70 percent of crops, including almost all fruits, vegetables, oilseeds, spices, coffee and cocoa are dependent on pollinators.
“Bees and other pollinators have thrived for millions of years, ensuring food security and nutrition, and maintaining biodiversity and vibrant ecosystems,” FAO has said.