Anticipating the fickle nature of the queen bee

Occasionally, queen bees decide to up and leave their hives. When they do this, they take much of their hive’s population with them. Which is a big bummer for beekeepers.

Some researchers have found a way to use an accelerometer — like one found in the iPhone — to figure out when a queen bee might decide to take off.

β€œThe method relies on the computer learning the language of the buzzing hives,” says Bencsik. The team found several signals in the vibrations – for instance, vibrations peak at sunrise – which could be used to monitor the health of a colony. Crucially, about 10 days before swarming, the hives produced a distinct vibration.

If a beekeeper anticipates the queen’s departure, he can set up another well-positioned hive for her to move in to.

From Discoblog.

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