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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Tucson, Arizona » Carl Hayden Bee Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #394625

Research Project: Quantifying and Reducing Colony Losses from Nutritional, Pathogen/Parasite, and Pesticide Stress by Improving Colony Management Practices

Location: Carl Hayden Bee Research Center

Title: Integration of Scales and Cameras in Nondisruptive Electronic Beehive Monitoring: On the Within-Day Relationship of Hive Weight and Traffic in Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Colonies in Langstroth Hives in Tucson, Arizona, USA

Author
item KULYUKIN, V. - Utah State University
item TKACHENKO, A. - Utah State University
item PRICE, K. - Utah State University
item Meikle, William
item Weiss, Milagra

Submitted to: Sensors
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/22/2022
Publication Date: 6/25/2022
Citation: Kulyukin, V., Tkachenko, A., Price, K., Meikle, W.G., Weiss, M. 2022. Integration of Scales and Cameras in Nondisruptive Electronic Beehive Monitoring: On the Within-Day Relationship of Hive Weight and Traffic in Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Colonies in Langstroth Hives in Tucson, Arizona, USA. Sensors. 22(13):4824. https://doi.org/10.3390/s22134824.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/s22134824

Interpretive Summary: In this study the entrances of honey bee hives were monitored, using video cameras linked to a computer, to gather video data on bee activity. The hives were also kept on hive scales, to monitor their weight every 5 minutes. The intention was to compare the bee activity with hive weight changes due to bee departures and arrivals. First, a mathematical analysis was used to break down the bee flight activity, as recorded in the videos, into outgoing traffic, incoming traffic, and lateral traffic (parallel to the side of the hive). Then these data were compared to hive weight loss (as bees left) and gain (as bees arrived). The lateral traffic did not play any role in hive weight change, so those data can probably be ignored in future analyses. Interestingly, for some hives the video data were correlated with the weight data, and for other hives the data were not – we will try to understand why in future studies.

Technical Abstract: An investigation of the relationship between hive weight and directional bee traffic was conducted on the video and weight data collected on six managed Apis mellifera colonies in Langstroth hives at the USDA-ARS Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson, AZ from May 15 to August 15, 2021. The strength of the correlation between hive weight and traffic was stronger on longer time intervals. Some hives had positive and some hives had negative correlations between weight and traffic. The spread in traffic and average traffic, when taken separately, did not affect the correlation of weight and traffic more significantly than the exact traffic counts from videos. Lateral traffic did not have a significant impact on weight.