How smart tech is transforming beekeeping

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. hive / haɪv / (n.) – a structure, container, or box where bees live

    I collect honey from the hives in my backyard.

  2. die-off / ˈdaɪˌɔf / (n.) – a sudden, rapid decrease in animal or plant populations that’s not directly connected to human activities

    Studies have shown that climate change has caused the die-off of various animal and plant species.

  3. ripple effect / ˈrɪp əl ɪˈfɛkt / (n.) – the continuing effects or results of an action or event

    The increase in gas prices has a ripple effect on the country’s economy.

  4. brood / brud / (n.) – a group of young animals, especially of birds or insects, that are born or hatched at the same time and cared for by their parents

    The hen provides warmth to its brood of chicks.

  5. crucial / ˈkru ʃəl / (adj.) – extremely important

    It is crucial to eat fruits and vegetables to maintain good health.


Read the text below.

An Israeli tech start-up is hoping to help beekeepers maintain their bee colonies with a smart touch.

Using sensors and real-time data analysis, the tech allows keepers to track the health of their hives and prevent die-offs that are blamed on a combination of parasites, pesticides, starvation and climate change.

Beekeeping is an age-old occupation that relies on tried and tested techniques and the expertise of the beekeeper for success. Honeybees around the world are dying off in large numbers, a phenomenon that could have ripple effects on the food supply chain and the entire ecosystem.

So even this ancient activity is adopting technology to take better care of bee colonies.

Doreet Avni has been beekeeping for 30 years. She’s now part of BeeHero, a Tel Aviv and California-based company that is spearheading that change.

“We just had to manually open every individual hive, look for a queen, look for the brood, see that everything is ok. Same for beekeepers. And now you can just get an app and you get all the information on the app,” she says.

BeeHero uses sensors inside the hive to analyze the colony’s health which it then transmits to the cloud and to the beekeeper, giving them real-time insights that could help save a struggling community of bees.                      

“With our technology, we can see very early if something is wrong in the colony. So for example in the case of pesticide or case of queen loss or any other problem that the colony has, the beekeeper can come and do something very quickly. Otherwise, they can come three four five weeks too late,” says Avni.

The beekeeper gets this information directly to their phone or computer and, through artificial intelligence and machine learning, they receive an outline of the state of the hives and are flashed with alerts if there is a problem.

BeeHero says that saves the beekeeper crucial time and makes finding any problems easier and more efficient.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • BeeHero is spearheading the change of integrating technology into beekeeping practices. Given the chance, what app would you like to create for an environmental cause (ex. an app that can help water plants, an animal-tracking app)? Why? Discuss.
  • What do you think are the pros and cons of apps nowadays (ex. pro: time-saving, con: dependency)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • What traditional job or practice do you think needs a smart touch (ex. fishing, farming)? Why? Discuss?
  • What aspect of your city/country do you think should be enhanced through the use of smart solutions (ex. traffic management, public safety)? Why? Discuss.