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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355428

Research Project: Improved Biologically-Based Methods for Insect Pest Management of Crop Insect Pests

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Development of a magnetic-based system for detecting queen honeybee death

item DERMODY, ANTHONY - University Of Florida
item BERKNER, STEPHEN - University Of Florida
item ROHDE, BARUKH - University Of Florida
item JETTER, PERRY - University Of Florida
item Mankin, Richard
item Stuhl, Charles

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/23/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The bee keeping industry is a $341-million-dollar industry, pollinating many other crops and producing honey. The queen honeybee Apis mellifera lays fertilized eggs in the hive. Queen bees, at peak productivity, can lay up to 1,500 fertilized eggs a day. While worker bees control the colony, a queen-less colony has trouble surviving for long. A queen-less colony cannot produce worker bees, making the colony less efficient, less productive, and less able to defend itself from predators and adverse conditions. These effects can be ameliorated by the timely introduction of a new queen bee by a beekeeper.We theorize that queen bee death can be detected by tracking changes in her movement. In this work, we attach a small magnetic tag to the back of a queen bee, and we use Hall effect sensors and analog circuitry to attempt to identify changes in her position. Hall effect sensors use a magnet to disrupt a flow of current, leading to different voltage levels at different directions and strengths of magnetic fields. The presence of a magnet on a queen bee, at a given distance from the sensor, will change the voltage output by the sensor. Normal queen bee movement will change voltage levels, signifying healthy queen bee behavior. A significant time period without change in voltage levels could indicate queen bee death. We propose the development of a queen bee death detection system based on this principle, to notify the bee keeper to replace the queen bee in a timely manner.