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Sensors to save bee population

A software development team has demonstrated a bee-saving software project at a Cisco Live hackathon in Las Vegas. Led by software engineer David Guidos, the team utilised a Raspberry Pi 3 with built-in communications, along with an inexpensive USB microphone, in order to create sensors that can detect the buzzing sound of bees. The technology is therefore able to determine which areas bees are visiting and which areas they are not. It is aimed at farmers who want to ensure their property is pollinated, with its purpose being to determine the effectiveness of hive placement.

“If we find out that certain areas are not being visited by the bees, then we know [that] maybe relocating the hives a little closer might get the bees to spread out a little better,” said Guidos in a comment to the SDTimes.

The sensors also used Cisco’s Tropo in order to connect the sensors to a phone network with voice and messaging. This allows the generation of voice alerts to let a farmer know if their hive is being attacked by a predator. Furthermore, a thermal imaging camera can be placed next to a beehive to monitor its health, or to detect whether the heat generated from the bees demonstrates activity in the hive. It can also be used to detect predators.

The team hopes to experiment with the software so it can detect other types of insects and determine whether they are harming the bee population.

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