Microprocessor-controlled monitoring of honeybee flight activity at the hive entranceM.H. Struyea, H.J. Mortiera, G. Arnoldb, C. Miniggioc and R. Borneckc
a Lowland Electronics bvba, Langekoeistalstraat 2, 8432 Leffinge-Middelkerke, Belgium
b Laboratoire de Neurobiologie Comparée des Invertébrés, INRA-CNRS (URA 1190), BP 23, 91440 Bures-sur-Yvette, France
c Institut Technique de l'Apiculture, rue de la Guyonnerie, 91440 Bures-sur-Yvette, France
Abstract - An important parameter in evaluating the activity of a honeybee colony is given by the number of bees leaving and entering the hive as a function of time. The microprocessor-controlled counter described here presents many advantages over previous counting devices. The counter fits the standard hive measurement (10 combs), and provides access to the hive via 32 bi-directional channels. The very small infrared detectors in each channel are only 0.1 mm apart, and are controlled by an asynchronous sequential algorithm, which improves the counter's precision. Results of measurements of the daily activity of honeybee colonies under different conditions (normal, in the presence of pesticides, or during swarming) are presented.
Key words: Apis mellifera / bee counter / flight activity / swarming / pesticides