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MelissAR: Augmented Visual Analytics of Honey Bee Behaviour

The bees are dying globally and it is not well understood why. In response to this issue, the CSIRO has launched the Global Initiative for Honey Bee Health (GIHH) in 2015 with the aim to study the factors impacting on honey bee health. By means of attaching tiny RFID tags to the bees and respective readers to hives and feeder stations, bee activity is studied in-situ in their normal environment. Dedicated experiments are carried out to study how specific factors impact on bee behaviour and ultimately on their health. The data of all GIHH partners is stored in a central database at the CSIRO. Many bee activity measures can be computed from the data to assess their significance as an early indicator for honey bee health.

In this project, we developed MelissAR, a tablet based augmented reality system for visual analytics of honey bee behaviour in the field. The system is intended to support bee keepers and other relevant users to monitor honey bee populations and to make effective decisions based on their status. The implementation of MelissAR is based on informed design choices with regard to usability in the field, effective communication of relevant information, and robustness to varying outdoor conditions.


Dr. Ulrich Engelke (Lead), Decision Sciences, CSIRO Data61
Holly Hutson, Decision Sciences, CSIRO Data61 & Queensland University of Technology
Dr. Huyen Nguyen (Lead), Decision Sciences, CSIRO Data61
Prof. Paulo de Souza, Cyber-Physical Systems, CSIRO Data61


2015 – 2016