Robotic beehive setting the bug world abuzz

Could technology save our insects? A team of scientists argue that a high-tech beehive is the best way to future-proof the world’s bees.

Would bees be better off with smart central heating? Scientists have finally asked this question, and they say that the answer is yes. They have built a robotic hive to help bees make it through a harsh winter.

Bees need more help than they used to. Many are plagued by Colony Collapse Disorder. This is when worker bees die off or do not return to the hive, leaving their queen defenceless. Scientists have been trying to trace the cause of this mysterious bee apocalypse. Most people point to pesticides, climate change, Varroa mites, or a mixture of the three.

That is why the scientists built their robotic hive. They want to protect the bees, who are hit hardest in winter. Beekeepers can lose 20% of their bees then. They used wood and beeswax so the bees would feel comfortable living in it. But inside there is a complicated robotic heating system. It monitors the bees and adapts the temperature to their needs.

About 4,000 bees made the robotic hive their home, and the scientists were able to stop any colony collapse. This is not just important for the bees. A third of the crops we eat are dependent on pollinators such as bees to help them spread and grow. The robotic beehive can help the bees, but also all the other plant and animal species that depend on them.