How Technology Is Helping to Keep the Bees A’Buzzin’

Neal Leavitt
Published 08/10/2023
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Technology Is Helping to Keep the Bees A’Buzzin’Without bees, millions of people worldwide would go hungry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, for instance, says bees pollinate more than 70% of flowering plants – not only in the U.S, but globally.

These iconic winged insects are being decimated globally by urbanization, climate change, intensive agriculture, pesticides, and diseases.

“Forty years ago, the annual colony loss rate was 3%; today it’s more than 35%. When this rate surpasses 50%, the world will be unable to sustain the bee population,” notes Saar Safra, CEO and co-founder Beewise, an Israeli startup that has raised more than $120 million to date.

And the nonprofit Bee Informed Partnership reported that between April 2020 and April 2021, U.S. beekeeping operations lost almost 46% of all colonies.



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“Losing 400 colonies, the typical amount transported by a truck for pollination, may cost an operation upwards of $80,000,” says Auburn University entomologist Dan Aurell, who works with the partnership.

So, can anything be done to stop or slow down the losses?

Public and private companies and government agencies around the globe are now implementing AI and other technology tools to keep the bees a‘buzzin. Beewise, for instance, has designed Beehome, which, as reported in Forbes, is a specially designed beehive that includes AI, robotics, and computer vision.

“Beehome detects threats to the honeybee colony such as pesticides and pests and defends against them; responds to threats in real-time and requires no human intervention; is thermally regulated, protects from fires, flooding and Asian wasps or murder hornets; and provides enhanced feeding techniques when forage is not available to the bees,” says Safra.

And the robots, for instance, automatically dispense sugar, water, and medication.

“They’re equipped with sensors allowing them to know what’s happening in the hive frames,” adds Netaly Harari, Beewise’s director of operations.

Safra adds that Beewise is managing more than seven billion bees (roughly 25,000 acres of pollinated crops).

Spain-based Enel Green Power has created high-tech hives equipped with special photovoltaic sensors measuring humidity and internal temperature, which are critical to the bees’ health. Enel is working with Loramiel, located near Seville. Loramiel raises bees to produce honey and sells swarms and queens to other beekeepers.

Loramiel’s owner, Juan Ignacio Lopez, is a fourth-generation beekeeper. He says the solar high-tech hives will hopefully decrease the area’s decline in bee populations and other pollinating insects.

And Fresno, CA-based BeeHero, is developing proprietary sensors to track bee activity in hives rented to farmers.

“Labor is by far the most challenging component of being a large-scale commercial beekeeper,” says Yair Tygiel, BeeHero’s VP of strategy/growth. “Deploying and monitoring higher-quality hives at farms can reduce crop losses because of insufficient pollination.”

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA0, reported that AI and data science are also helping companies like Oracle process data from global beehives.

“Oracle, for instance, is looking for patterns and anomalies in bee colony health,” notes CTA. “Dissecting patterns based on regional or distinct factors, companies – and in turn beekeepers — can better prevent losses or mitigate problems in methods specific to each bee colony.”

So, keep your honey-dipped fingers crossed that AI and other technologies will successfully reverse the precipitous decline of the worldwide bee population.


Disclaimer: The author is completely responsible for the content of this article. The opinions expressed are their own and do not represent IEEE’s position nor that of the Computer Society nor its Leadership.


  1. Forbes, May 19, 2022, Robotic Beehive Using AI to Save the Bees and Global Food Supply
  2. Scientific American, Aug. 31, 2021, In-Hive Sensors Could Help Ailing Bee Colonies
  3. CES.Tech, Oct. 13, 2020, How Technology Is Saving the Bee Population