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Honeybee Colony Vibrational Measurements to Highlight the Brood Cycle
Martin Bencsik 1 , Yves Le Conte, 2 Maritza Reyes, 2 Maryline Pioz, 2 David Whittaker, 1 Didier Crauser, 2 Noa Simon Delso, 3 Michael I. Newton 1
1  Nottingham Trent University, NTU, School of Science and Technology, Clifton Lane, Nottingham, NG11 8NS, United Kingdom
2  Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, INRA, UR 406 Abeilles et Environnement, Domaine Saint-Paul, CS 40509, 84914, Avignon, France
3  Centre Apicole de Recherche et d'Information, CARI, 4, Place Croix du Sud, B-1348, Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium

Published: 18 November 2015 by Public Library of Science (PLoS) in PLOS ONE
Public Library of Science (PLoS), Volume 10; 10.1371/journal.pone.0141926
Abstract: Insect pollination is of great importance to crop production worldwide and honey bees are amongst its chief facilitators. Because of the decline of managed colonies, the use of sensor technology is growing in popularity and it is of interest to develop new methods which can more accurately and less invasively assess honey bee colony status. Our approach is to use accelerometers to measure vibrations in order to provide information on colony activity and development. The accelerometers provide amplitude and frequency information which is recorded every three minutes and analysed for night time only. Vibrational data were validated by comparison to visual inspection data, particularly the brood development. We show a strong correlation between vibrational amplitude data and the brood cycle in the vicinity of the sensor. We have further explored the minimum data that is required, when frequency information is also included, to accurately predict the current point in the brood cycle. Such a technique should enable beekeepers to reduce the frequency with which visual inspections are required, reducing the stress this places on the colony and saving the beekeeper time.
Keywords: vibration, honey, honey bees, Accelerometers, larvae, pollen, data processing, social systems
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