Buzzwatch – a golden opportunity for our bees

Buzzwatch – a golden opportunity for our bees

Amai! - smart AI solutions for social issues

"The honey bee, the canary in the coalmine"

Plantsoon stands up for pollinators...

Bee populations experienced distressingly high mortality rates once again this past winter. Our honeybees are the proverbial "canary in the coal mine," signaling threats to the broader population health of all pollinator species, including critical pollinators like bumblebees and solitary bees. The Buzzwatch Artifical Intelligence (AI) project aims to combat declining pollinator numbers by optimizing the supply and demand equation these species rely on to thrive.

Buzzwatch is a collaboration between the Flemish Bee Institute, PXL College, and Plantsoon. It utilizes advanced AI models to map observational plots along roadsides based on aerial imaging. The models provide automated plant recognition analysis of these locations from photos captured by citizen scientists. The Plantsoon app then enables users to easily catalog observations and other supplemental field data on the same plants. Finally, expert evaluation validates the AI’s initial roadside plant identification, completing a cycle of technology-assisted information gathering, confirmation, and learning.

By tracing the relationship between pollinator colonies and the gestating flora sustaining them, Buzzwatch will pinpoint where targeted conservation efforts should prioritize planting or removing vegetation to nurture dwindling bee populations. We believe data-driven insights can help reverse the decline of these vitally important species.

Things are not going well for our Belgian pollinators.
Buzzwatch – a golden opportunity for our bees
70% of the most important food crops come from animal pollination

... and calls on citizens to help.

Buzzwatch is an AI project from Amai!, an organization aiming to inform Flemish citizens about AI and involve them in developing new AI applications. Amai! brings together AI experts, organizations, and citizens around four key themes: climate/environment, mobility, health, and work. The goal is to create smart AI solutions for pressing societal issues within these themes.

Buzzwatch will collect large-scale, relevant data to enable robust conclusions. Amai! is calling on Flanders' citizens to participate and contribute data. Top data contributors will be recognized with artisanal local honey.

The data can help beekeepers optimize beehive placement year-round and identify impacts on solitary bee species. The insights will assist municipal green services in developing roadside management plans. More broadly, Buzzwatch will support land managers, beekeepers, and conservationists in understanding and recovering Flanders' bee populations.

The project will underpin scientifically-grounded policymaking and provide visibility into citizen and government efforts. Overall, Buzzwatch forms a foundation for data-driven decision making to protect and revive bee populations across Flanders.

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