10 Aug New Technology May Help Improve Honey Bee Health
Just like every creature on earth, honey bees have a way of communicating with one another. Scientists have discovered that honey bees can communicate with one another through movement or what is called the Honey Bee Dance. But researchers have discovered other ways in which bees communicate with one another, and it could help to improve their overall health.
Oldooz Pooyanfar, a graduate student at Simon Fraser University, is studying what honey bees are saying to one another in order to improve their health, Pooyanfar has developed technology that monitors honey bee communication within the beehive. Along with the honey bee dance, honey bees communicate by other means, such as pheromones, chemicals, and sound. Pooyanfar states, “To learn about what bees are communicating, we can either look at pheromones — the chemical they produce — or sound” (Simon Fraser University, 2017).
The monitoring system is placed along the wall of the hive. Tiny sensors that contain microphones monitor vibration and sound. In addition, temperature and humidity are also recorded.
“With this monitoring system, we are collecting data in real time on what the bees are ‘saying’ about foraging, or if they’re swarming, or if the queen bee is present — right now we are collecting as much data as possible that will pinpoint what they are actually doing,” says Pooyanfar (Simon Fraser University, 2017).
Pooyanfar’s goal to to develop a cost effective sensor package that will allow beekeepers to monitor honey bee communications. She hopes that this will help biologists better understand Colony Collapse Disorder, which is responsible for a 30 percent decline in the North American honey bee population over the past decade.
Simon Fraser University. (2017, August 5). Technology tracks ‘bee talk’ to help improve honey bee health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 10, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170805142358.htm
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