This project enables apiarists and growers to track honey bee pollination within a polytunnel by establishing an array of digital monitoring points. This technology facilitates a move away from semi-protected cropping environments that are hostile and poorly designed from the perspective of foraging insects, towards the creation of spaces that meet the environmental needs of honey bees required for pollination.
To date, the movement of bees within cropping environments has largely been left unmonitored – as long as the crop yield is acceptable, little thought is given to the impact the cropping environment has on bees’ foraging capabilities. Environments may be too hot, too sparse or too navigationally challenging. This may result in stressed insects and poor pollination. The first step in reducing these issues is acquisition of detailed, accurate data. By using multi-point monitoring technology, apiarists and growers can assess how effectively bees move and pollinate crops within industrial settings.
* Example honey bee flight directionality plots produced by the AI software embedded in the multi-point monitoring system can be viewed here: https://www.agrifutures.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Honeybee-Flight-Directionality-Plots.png