Current achievements and future developments of a novel AI based visual monitoring of beehives in ecotoxicology and for the monitoring of landscape structures
Honey bees are valuable bioindicators. As such, they hold a vast potential to help shed light on the extent and interdependencies of factors influencing the decline in the number of insects. However, to date this potential has not yet been fully leveraged, as the production of reliable data requires large-scale study designs, which are very labour intensive and therefore costly. A novel Artificial Intelligence (AI) based visual monitoring system could enable the partial automatization of data collection on activity, forager loss and impairment of the central nervous system. The possibility to extract features from image data could prospectively also allow an assessment of pollen intake and a differentiation of dead bees, drones and worker bees as well as other insects such as wasps or hornets. The technology was validated in different studies with regards to its scalability and its ability to extract motion and feature related information. The prospective possibilities were analyzed regarding their potential to enable advances both within ecotoxicological research and the monitoring of pollinator habitats.