AI App BeeMachine Aims to Save Declining American Bumblebee and Monitor Bee Populations Across North America

By Trish Svoboda

The American bumblebee, once common across North America, faces sharp declines and regional extinctions. Biologists’ awareness of its challenges guides conservation efforts, highlighting the limited knowledge about the majority of North America’s 4,000 bee species.

A new app, BeeMachine, utilizes AI to aid bee identification, a challenging task due to species similarity and shortage of taxonomists. Created by Kansas State University’s Brian Spiesman, the app invites public participation in bee documentation through photo submissions.

This approach promises broader bee monitoring than traditional studies, crucial for understanding habitat loss impacts and potentially aiding species like the Southern Plains and American bumblebees under conservation review.

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