Washington Patent of the Month – September 2023

Bees play a crucial role in agriculture by pollinating crops, ensuring the growth of fruits, vegetables, and nuts that make up a significant portion of our diet. Monitoring the health and activity of bee colonies has never been more critical, and Keltronix, Inc. is working to combine citizen science and data collection to improve this process. 

Traditionally, beekeepers have relied on manual inspections, but this method has its limitations. Keltronix is adapting this approach by implementing the use of cameras and advanced image analysis to provide real-time data on bee activity. The Keltronix bee monitoring system is a game-changer for beekeepers and farmers alike. 

A camera is installed near the beehive, capturing a sequence of video frames of the bee colony’s exterior. These cameras are non-intrusive and do not disrupt the hive’s natural behavior. The captured video frames are then analyzed by a processor equipped with state-of-the-art image analysis algorithms. This analysis goes beyond merely counting bees; it calculates an activity value that provides insights into the bees’ behavior.

It can even identify pollen, which is a key indicator of the colony’s pollination effectiveness. This level of detail is invaluable for assessing hive health. This level of analysis is achieved using proprietary and adaptive algorithms. This adaptability ensures the system can be tailored to specific beekeeping needs.

With real-time monitoring, beekeepers can identify issues like pest infestations or declining pollination activity promptly. This early detection allows for timely intervention and healthier bee colonies. By assessing pollination effectiveness, farmers can optimize crop yields. Healthy, active bees mean better pollination, leading to increased agricultural productivity.

Keltronix’s non-intrusive monitoring system eliminates the need for disruptive manual inspections, saving beekeepers time and resources. Healthy bee colonies have a positive impact on the environment. By supporting beekeepers, Keltronix indirectly contributes to broader conservation efforts.

As we continue to face challenges in sustaining bee populations, technology like this is crucial for addressing the complex issues impacting these essential pollinators. Whether expert or novice beekeepers, every monitored hive leads to improved data analysis and understanding. Keltronix’s dedication to innovation in bee monitoring promises a brighter future for both beekeepers and our environment. 

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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