Monitoring Honey Bee Colonies Electronically

I recently got an email from Frank Linton. Frank works at Mitre Corp and has been interested in hive monitoring for a long time. Last year, he organized the first workshop on hive monitoring at Eastern Apicultural Society’s annual conference in Vermont.  I’ll let Frank speak for himself – the following is an excerpt . . . → Read More: Monitoring Honey Bee Colonies Electronically

Music to My Ears

Winter Aviary - January 2011

Winter Aviary - January 2011

It’s easy to figure out how a hive is doing in the middle of winter. You just open up the hive and pull out frames until you find the cluster of bees. The challenge is doing this without killing every last bee. Opening the hive exposes the hive to deathly chilling temperatures:

  • at 50 degrees F, brood rearing stops and workers cannot fly
  • at 42 degrees F, bees cannot move because their muscles are not warm enough
  • at 40 degrees F, bees die

However, if bees are able to form a tight winter cluster that is protected from the elements, they can generate their own heat from their honey stores and a colony can withstand outside temperatures to minus 40 degrees F! So unless it is sunny and mild with no wind and temperatures above 50 degree F, you should not risk killing hive by opening it.

I recently snooped on one hive – with six inches of snow on it – without opening it up. Continue reading Music to My Ears

Acoustic Analysis of Bee Behavior

This is the beginning stub for comments on the Acoustic Analysis Project. I am seeking any technical contributions with respect to analytical tools, solar power for computers that continuously monitor sounds, low power Windows computers, microphones, field recorders, …you get the idea. I also welcome comments, suggestions, pointers, whatever.