Researching bee health and behaviour

Arnia hive monitoring technology provides unparalleled data for researchers investigating bee health and behaviour. We have been working with bee scientists from around the world since early 2011 and can specify a hive monitoring system to meet your research objectives. Sensors available include:-

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  • Sound (Flight & fanning activity; overall colony strength)
  • Brood temperature
  • Hive humidity
  • Hive temperature
  • Hive weight
  • Bee counts (separate counts of bees leaving and arriving at the hive)
  • Vibration
  • CO2
  • Meteorological: Rainfall, Temperature, and Sunshine.

 

 

 

 

Data is available remotely through a secure account in our User Interface. Graphs can be generated for selected periods for trend observation and comparative analysis of data within a colony as well as between different colonies.  Raw data can be downloaded for further analysis in Matlab or Excel.  Key benefits for researchers include:-

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  • Accurate: Highly accurate sensors each individually calibrated
  • High resolution:  Measurement frequency can be set from every 5 minutes.
  • Reliable: Durable and waterproof, with power and data transfer options to suit site conditions.
  • Flexible:  The type and number of sensors used can be selected to meet project requirements.
  • Scalable: Enables the economic collection of data from large numbers of hives over wide geographic areas

 

 

 

 

Share in data from our global community of bee enthusiasts

As well as data from your own monitoring project, you we can supply aggregated bee data from our global network of monitored hives. We can also set up local, national or international citizen science projects with beekeepers to share data with bee research groups. Other benefits from being part of the Arnia monitoring community include:-

  • We continuously analyse our aggregated bee data to identify new health or behaviour signatures which we then add to our User Interface as free upgrades for the benefit of all our customers
  • You will be able to access the Arnia Knowledge Base which has a library of example data, useful articles and interesting research from around the world. You can also add comments and share data and experiences with other beekeepers through the Knowledge Base.
  • If requested, we can also facilitate networks of research groups to share data and possibly collaborate on joint projects.

How can our bee hive monitors help your experiment?

Remote monitoring enables the collection of an additional layer of data to compliment that collected through inspections, observations and laboratory analysis. As well as enabling the study of individual hives in great detail, the Arnia system provides an economically viable means of performing wide scale geographical studies involving hundreds of hives. Participants in experiments can be easily be added, the monitors can be fully managed and configured remotely. We also provide a full technical support service. Examples of the types of studies that remote hive monitoring can benefit include:-

Effect of Internal Factors on Colomy Status

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The monitors allow you to compare hive homeostasis, colony strength, and activity and assess the efficiency of nectar collection and processing. This is useful when trying to compare, assess or quantify differences between bee colonies affected with things like: pests and parasites (Varroa,  Small Hive Beetle, Wax Moth, Tropilaelaps etc.), viruses (DWV, CBPV, APV etc.) bacterial infections (EFB, AFB etc.), fungal infections (chalk brood, stone brood etc.) exposure to chemicals (hive treatments, pesticides), supplementing nutrition, evaluating genetic strains. In this type of experiment, the bees tend to be at the same location to minimise climactic and external environmental differences.

 

 

 

 

Effect of External Environmental Factors on Colony Status

Arnia’s hive monitoring system can also be used to study the influence of external environmental factors on colonies in different locations, for instance managed agricultural land, unmanaged countryside, urban environments etc. while monitoring the colonies, the system also monitors meteorological conditions at each site (max/min air temperatures, temp in sun, temp in shade, amount of sunshine and rainfall). This information is critical if a relative comparison of colony development is going to be made. In this scenario while the environmental conditions differ, the bee colonies studied need to be as similar as possible. If the number or location of the colonies in this experiment is restricted by manual collection of data, automation would allow you to scale the experiment up considerably, to anywhere in the country/world!

Most solutions lie between these two extremes. Arnia is staffed by experienced beekeepers that also have expertise in electronic engineering, signal processing, acoustics and biological sciences. We can also provide help and advice in experimental design, supply raw bee sound data and provide data aggregation services.