Beekeepers Employ Remote Monitoring to Help Protect Honeybees

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Beekeepers Employ Remote Monitoring to Help Protect Honeybees The ancient tradition of beekeeping has become a critical part of agriculture worldwide. Bees provide vital pollination to plants, especially crops feeding 90% of the world's population. 1.4 billion farming jobs also depend on this pollination, bringing in about $557 billion dollars a year. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, bees are in distress too. A deadly parasitic mite, pesticides, and climate change led to an estimate that from 2019-2020, almost over 40% of US beehives were lost. A Boston firm, Best Bees Company, installs monitors near hives commercially and shares the data with universities. These monitors are intended to learn more about the health of the bees and better understand the plight that has caused so many deaths. Best Bees also harvests the honey for homeowners and businesses to keep. The technology is significantly different from the more primitive tools used in beekeeping previously. Beekeepers had to manually inspect hives, whereas these monitors aim to do that remotely. They can get a picture of what is happening in the hive and the overall health of the bees. While about 20% of hives require intervention, beekeepers often don't know which 20%, which is why a monitor sharing information can be helpful.

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