How Intel Is Helping to Solve the Declining Bee Problem

'Bees with Backpacks' Documentary Shows Intel Edison Technology in Use

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Intel is debuting a video documentary today called "Bees with Backpacks," which shows how its technology is being used to help solve global problems -- in this case tracking the decline of bee colonies worldwide.

The film, which is appearing on YouTube, Intel's website and other channels, was created by Intel Global Production Labs (IGPL), an in-house video and content production studio that was launched in early 2015.

"The whole company has taken a shift to really start talking about the amazing experiences that are enabled by Intel," said Teresa Herd, VP-global creative director at Intel. "It was important for us to understand the storytelling opportunities, and how to bring them to life in a way that is impactful, emotive and powerful."

One of the ways IGPL is doing this is through a documentary series called "Meet the Makers," which profiles how Intel Edison micro-computing technology is being used by entrepreneurs, musicians, scientists and other "makers" in unique ways to solve problems for businesses and society at large.

Some of the earlier documentaries feature an eighth-grader who designed a braille printer; an engineer who built an Ebola-proof tablet to help fight the disease; and a DJ who incorporated laptop technology into a turntable.

In the newest video, Intel profiles the efforts of Paulo De Souza, chief executive science leader of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), who is studying the declining bee population and its impact on the world.

"Bees are dying," Ms. Herd said. "As bees go away, we go away. Intel has a product that is helping to figure out what is happening with the bees. We felt it was a really compelling story that needed to be told."

"Backpacks with Bees" shows how Mr. De Souza and his team of researchers attach tiny tracking devices to the backs of bees (basically by gluing them on) as well as placing Intel Edison boards inside bee hives to track and study bee activity.

"When we talked to Paulo, it was immediately clear that this just would not be happening without Intel Edison technology," said Yogi Graham, director of production at IGPL. "The fact that this is literally the catalyst to solve one of the most important and timely issues globally -- and the opportunity to tie it into Paulo's personal story -- makes it relevant and human at the same time."

The video ends with Mr. De Souza saying, "This not about bees or microchips or technology -- this is about the future of our planet."

Ms. Herd said the goal of the video series is to help people understand all of the places Intel is, and how it's helping to solve "some very big problems."

"From a brand standpoint, we hope that when people have to make a decision for themselves or for their company, they will think 'Intel -- they are doing amazing things and I want to be part of that.'"

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