Free access
Volume 40, Number 5, September-October 2009
Page(s) 577 - 584
Published online 13 June 2009
Apidologie 40 (2009) 577-584
DOI: 10.1051/apido/2009031

A new device for continuous temperature measurement in brood cells of honeybees (Apis mellifera)

Matthias A. Becher and Robin F.A. Moritz

Institut für Biologie, Martin Luther Universität Halle/Wittenberg, Germany

Received 7 October 2008 – Revised 6 March 2009 – Accepted 15 March 2009 - Published online 13 June 2009

Abstract - Nest temperature in honeybees is a crucial factor for brood development since it influences the task specialization of adult workers. Accurate and reliable data on temperature distributions are hence of major interest to understand colony function. We present a new device for temperature measurements in brood cells of honeybee combs. The instrument allows for a continuous temperature recording at the bottom of 768 brood cells. In contrast to previous techniques, we can record the complete temperature history of individual developing larvae under natural conditions in the hive. The device consists of a dense grid of thermistors connected to a computer for the recording and display of the temperature data. Software is provided to graphically display the temperature profile across the comb in false colors.

Key words: honeybee / brood comb / temperature measurement

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2009