Using cutting-edge technology to monitor bees, we will provide a unique insight into the lives of these fascinating insects, and at the same time, generate valuable data for bee research. The monitors can interpret the sound of a bee colony to assess both their behaviour and health. (Yes, we really can listen to bees!) We plan to keep track of hundreds of hives across the UK- the more hives we monitor the bigger the buzz!
By enabling the non-intrusive collection of data from hundreds, even thousands of beehives- over wide areas- we can generate a wealth of data that can be used, by scientists, to evaluate the status, and dynamics of Honey bee populations on an unprecedented scale. Analysis will fill current knowledge gaps and vastly improve our understanding of the complex issues that impact Honey bee welfare.
One in three mouthfuls we eat is reliant upon pollination, much of the nutritionally rich foods that we require for a healthy body and mind are those which are pollinated by honey bees and other insects. We are aware that honey bees and other pollinators are in decline and as the honey bee is the only managed pollinator we are in a unique position to understand more about why they are in decline and the issues they face through the Build the Buzz scientific research project.
Investment by government into Honey bee health has been in the decline over many years although great strides have been/are being made made through the Insect Pollinator Initiative (IPI) and now the National Pollinator Strategy scientific research into the honey bee has been minimal, but this now about to change with your help.
This type of research has never been possible before on such a large scale and will help us to identify the issues faced by not only individual colony, your local area while also providing never available information on a national scale. This will support the NPS and enable us to make positive changes to our environment and practices to benefit the honey bee and ultimately other pollinators through our unique relationship with the honey bee. This pioneering science will support our scientific research objects with unique data for the first time.
Each hive within the scheme will be fitted with a small technological device that will feedback data to a central database managed by our technology partner Arnia. This information will then be available centrally and also to the individual beekeeper, the guardian of the colony. The Beekeeper will also undertake information feedback through a specially created app to feed additional information through to the central database providing observational information.
Data is collected 24/7 into the central data repository throughout the year. Honey bees unlike all other pollinators do not die off or hibernate but keep going throughout the winter months living on the honey stores collected over the summer months. Our changing climate will be recorded and we will have a greater understanding of it’s impact on the colonies. As soon as a hive is connected to the gateway information is recorded and continues to do so until disconnected.
As a long term research project we will have the facility to compare year on year data to provide a true analysis of life within the hive, environmental and climatic impact by listening to them and hearing what is being output.
‘..The collection of wide scale field data on honey bees would help fill current knowledge gaps and improve understanding of the complex multi parameter issues that impact the honey bee health and welfare. It would help researchers assess the impact of such factors such as land use,agricultural practices, pests and pathogens.’ – Dr Mark K Greco, University of Bath Bee Unit