Carl Hayden Bee Research Center. Our current research focuses on developing the use of sensors to model bee colony dynamics and to monitor bee health productivity and performance.
Continuous monitoring provides robust data that allows us to correlate hive events, such as changes in forager activity, with external factors such as weather events, blooms of important flower species, or pesticide application in a neighboring field. Continuously weighing hives (hourly or more often) using electronic sensors is a colony monitoring approach that offers a high information yield with comparatively little hive disturbance. Continuous weight data have been shown to be rich in information on colony growth and consumption, swarming, weather effects and hive abandonment. Other kinds of data that can provide information on hive health and activity include temperature, humidity, O2 and CO2 concentration, forager traffic, vibration and acoustic signals. Analysis of these data over time may allow us to use continuous monitoring tools to predict hive activities and diagnose colony disorders.