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A spatially resolved temperature measurement system for a honeybee colony brood box
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1  Nottingham Trent University
Academic Editor: Bruno Ando


Honeybee colonies are dependent on suitable temperature conditions for healthy colony development. Here we design, build, test, and demonstrate the use of a spatially resolved temperature measurement system for a honeybee colony brood box. We adapted a British National hive by building ten customised brood frames, each equipped with forty-eight temperature sensors, equating to four-hundred and eighty sensors across the hive. Thermistors were chosen for the temperature sensor in particular because they give a suitable measurement range. Each frame was connected to three sixteen-channel analogue multiplexers, the resulting analogue voltage was further digitized with a Teensy 3.5 microcontroller with data automatically saved using a Raspberry Pi. Two different spatially resolved temperature measurement hive systems were built. The first used four layers of foundation wax to embed the sensor array, and after populating it with a colony, the honeybees removed the wax exposing the sensors before building new honeycomb. A second system was produced which used a single sheet of foundation wax onto which the sensors were laid, and a swarm was introduced to it. The colony accepted the system and was found to build normal comb on the frames. Highly valuable spatially resolved temperature data was collected over this period. Consequently, we demonstrate two spatially resolved temperature measurement systems for a honeybee colony corresponding data and pros and cons will be discussed.

Keywords: honeybee health; temperature; spatially resolved temperature measurement, SRTM