Knowledge for better food systems

Machine learning to keep bee hives healthy

Image: Max Pixel, Bee bees honey, CC0 Public Domain

Students at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne have created a machine learning algorithm to automatically count Varroa mites in beehives. The algorithm could help beekeepers monitor bee health more quickly and accurately.

Currently, Varroa mite infestations are tracked by counting the number of mite bodies found on a board placed underneath the hive. However, this is time-consuming and often inaccurate, because the mites are tiny and other debris also lands on the boards.

View a video demonstrating the current process and the new algorithm here.

Read the full article here and read coverage in TechCrunch here. See also the video A Bee's Eye View of a Healthy Food System in the Foodsource video library.

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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