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Image processing for honey bee hive health monitoring

Honey bees are responsible for more than half of the pollination across the world, hence they have an important role in agriculture. In recent years, the number of honey bees have declined due to the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which may be due to possible causes that include climate change and pollution. Since honey bees start from their hives to go for pollination, their activities around the hive are a good indicator of their health.

The bee hive’s health status and the activities of honey bees can be related to the environment in which they live, thus finding a quantitative measure of the bee activities is very important and can benefit the beekeepers. This paper will present a data acquisition and monitoring system that utilizes image processing techniques for extracting data from the videos of the bee hive’s entrance taken at the front or the top of the hive’s entrance. The system developed as part of this research utilizes two different approaches based on the Illumination-invariant Change Detection Algorithm and Signal-to-Noise Ratio to estimate the number of bees at the entrance of the hives.