Millions of honeybee colonies dies each year! In the US about 44%! That's terrible - almost half of the colonies - each year! The main cause is the parasite mite - named Varroa Destructor. The name is very appropriate, it destroys the bees. In Europe almost 20% are lost yearly. My neighbour and collegue had 800 colonies and lost 500! Next winter he lost another 250, so now he keeps 50 hives.
The bees really suffer. Imagine having big brown crabs crawling your body sucking your blood!
Beekeepers around the world are struggling to save their bees. But they fail to detect the infestation in time - and so their bees dies in the winter.
Its a shame!
We can change that. Use the camera in your phone. Monitor the mite.
My name is Björn Lagerman. I have about 100 beehives in the middle of Sweden.
Last summer I discovered Varroa mites examining close up still images. It then struck me that if I could compare the images with results from conventional chemical monitoring we would have a new tool. And indeed there was correlation!
The idea is to let an app reveal the mites in the images. Then you decide to treat or not. The app will also provide basis for finding bees that show resistance against Varroa. This is very important! We can not depend on chemicals, we must find resistant bees. Beekeepers gets a tool and researchers gets knowledge to find varroa resistant strains of bees.
This is a concept image:
In our database we will store images and data from the beekeepers. Our image analyzing technology is based on cutting edge neural networks and deep learning.
For training our neuronnets we need big data and therefor we are collecting pictures and survey data from 10 000 colonies taken by beekeepers worldwide.
The correlation between images, how the bees perform, what crop they bring and how they survive is used for the software development.
We then will compare received data with our own controlled extended survey -where we use alcohol washing as benchmark to measure the infestation.
Timing and team
During coming season we will extend our own survey, collect images from around the world and use all this data to produce the software and the app. Initial data are already at hand from our pilotstudy in 2016 and the infrastructure and programmers is developing now.
Our team represents leading experts and advisors from top Universities in Sweden and the U.S. The project has been presented to and collaborates with beekeeping researcher from all over the world.
For the initial stage we ask for just 5 000 USD. Funds are needed for building the database stucture with an API that can handle lots of data from the worlds beekeepers and communicate with the users.
The major assets that are needed for the project, 350 000 USD, we think will be funded late May by the European Innovation Program. We also have investors contributing not to mention a huge nonprofit and volunteering effort from our innovation group and beekeeping friends.
The Kickstarter campaign is a Kickstarter. That is to say both a means for funds but also an important way to engage worlds beekeepers and market the concept.
The more funds we can raise from you, the backers, the faster we can develop and the less we depend on public financing. With proper funding we will be able to push the project ahead this coming season. We are already planning for analyzing video footage and using augmented reality. The technology will enable enhanced accuracy and studying other aspects of bees health and behavior. Our research and development also has the potential to expand in to other fields of monitoring biological systems.
Depending on your contribution we wish to offer:
Personal analysis of colonies.
T-shirts with the app icon “BeesCan w BeeScan”.
Your name on our "Wall of Fame".
Can advertise in the app and on the support page. -
Use our logo in your own marketing.
Your name as supporter on our site.
Major donors will get invitations to visit apiaries and meet our research team.