Immersive Visualisation of Honey Bee Flight Behaviour

Florence Wang

 

The Global Initiative for Honey bee Health (GIHH) aims to have a global impact on the ecosystem and sustainable development by studying honey bee behaviors, potential threats to their health and the decline in their numbers

Miniaturised RFID tags are attached to the honey bees to track and study their behavior in a natural habitat. These tags are detected and recorded by readers installed at the entry to beehives and feeder stations, thus providing event data for the bees’ activity.

These experiments are then remodelled in an immersive visualisation to set up a near realistic environment of bee foraging behavior.

Since tracking insects flying in their natural habitat is still an unsolved challenge, the honey bee flight paths used within our system have been simulated using the Swarm Sensing Model, a python-based computational model which can be used to simulate, analyse and visualise honey bee flight paths within a three-dimensional foraging environment.

We designed and implemented the immersive visualisation system, I-Flight, for head mounted virtual reality headsets. We represent the 3D terrain of the foraging environment as a surface with variable elevation based on land surface height data obtained from the Swarm Sensing Model.

To realistically represent the geographical location, a high resolution satellite image is used as a texture map. Bee hives and feeder stations are placed in realistic locations obtained from respective experiments. Flight paths are visualised as continuous, coloured trajectories in 3D space with data points from the model being linearly interpolated.

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