Intel Join CSIRO to Protect the Collapsing Colonies of Honey Bees with Intel Edison Breakout Board Kit

Can you imagine a world without honey bees protecting our ecosystem? Can you imagine what would happen if there’s an intense shortage of pollination? The results would be highly unfavorable for mankind as the fertilization would be reduced and so would be the food production.

To fight off this immense threat, CSIRO, an Australian science and research organization, started a Global Initiative for Honey Bee Health (GIHH) which will be now advanced by CSIRO’s new partner (for this initiative), the Intel Corp.

What’s Intel Cooperation in This Initiative

For the first time Intel will use its cutting-edge technology in a peculiar fashion unlike anything it has done before. Intel will provide CSIRO Intel® Edison Breakout Board kit – for distribution – which is a “customizable compute platform, slightly larger than a postage stamp,” says Intel in its official blog.

The kit will be integrated into the honey bees’ Beehive to monitor their daily activity from their behaviors and movements down to the stressors that affect their health, via Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. Thousands of such tags have already been places onto the honey bees as part of the GIHH process.

The data gathered from the platform at the Data Access Portal of CSIRO will be provided to farmers, beekeepers and the government which will then be reviewed and acted upon accordingly. Professor Paulo de Souza, CSIRO Science Leader, says

“Bee colonies are collapsing around the world and we don’t know why. Due to the urgent and global nature of this issue, we saw the need to develop a methodology that any scientist could easily deploy. This way we can share and compare data from around the world to collaboratively investigate bee health. This united effort is a fantastic example of the Internet of Things.”

What Do We Know About Intel Edison Platform

About the platform Souza says, “The Intel Edison Breakout Board kit is the perfect platform for this type of research. It’s incredibly reliable, small in size, flexible with programming, and has low power consumption. It’s also easily customizable which means that if a scientist has a sensor they would like to add, they can virtually plug in and play.”

Once the data extracted from the Intel Edison platform and sent to the researchers, they will be able to produce visual (most probably 3D models) reports that will contain the entire activity of the Honey bees such as their movements and responses to internal or external stressors. Plus, the board with also provide some added information such as humidity around the beehive, solar radiation and more.

Image Courtesy of: Spectrum Communications