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Extensive Vibrational Characterisation and Long-Term Monitoring of Honeybee Dorso-Ventral Abdominal Vibration signals.
M. Ramsey, 1 M. Bencsik 2 , M. I. Newton 1
1  Nottingham Trent University, School of Science and Technology, Clifton Lane, Clifton, Nottingham, NG11 8NS, UK
2  Nottingham Trent University, School of Science and Technology, Clifton Lane, Clifton, Nottingham, NG11 8NS, UK.

Published: 01 October 2018 by Springer Nature in Scientific Reports
Springer Nature, Volume 8; 10.1038/s41598-018-32931-z
Abstract: A very common honeybee signal is the dorso-ventral abdominal vibration (DVAV) signal, widely accepted as a modulatory signal meaning: "prepare for greater activity". In this study, using ultra-sensitive accelerometer technology embedded in the honeycomb, we visually confirm the one-to-one relationship between a DVAV signal being produced and the resulting accelerometer waveform, allowing the measurement of DVAV signals without relying on any visual inspection. We then demonstrate a novel method for the continuous in-situ non-invasive automated monitoring of this honeybee signal, not previously known to induce any vibration into the honeycomb, and most often inaudible to human hearing. We monitored a total of three hives in the UK and France, showing that the signal is very common, highly repeatable and occurs more frequently at night, exhibiting a distinct decrease in instances and increase in amplitude towards mid-afternoon. We also show an unprecedented increase in the cumulative amplitude of DVAV signals occurring in the hours preceding and following a primary swarm. We conclude that DVAV signals may have additional functions beyond solely being a foraging activation signal, and that the amplitude of the signal might be indicative of the switching of its purpose.
Keywords: honeybee, vibration, functions, Amplitude, accelerometer, Honeycomb, ventral, dorso, DVAV signals
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