Remote Sensing of Honey Bees

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Revision as of 15:01, 27 April 2021 by Lever3 (talk | contribs)


Drones are essential for the longevity of a beehive as their sole purpose is to mate with the queen to produce worker bees. Although, they play an integral part in the beehive, they are not very well understood and research on their flying patterns is scarce; “Available information on drone activity is based mainly on direct observations during a limited period of time and for a restricted time of the day” (Reyes, 2019).

The frame of capped drones.

About the Team

The RFID team is responsible for implementing the radio frequency identification system (RFID) to track and record bee flight patterns in and out of their hive. During the Fall 2020 semester, the team tagged 15 bees in total and built a water-proof wooden box to hold the RFID system. The bees were first collected by using an Aspirator and then subduing the bees in the freezer for a few minutes. Once the bees were semi-paralyzed, the tags were attached to the thorax of the bee using Krazy glue and the bees were then set free. A sensor was placed at the entrance of the hive to identify and record the time a tagged bee entered or exited the hive.

Our main goal for the Spring 2021 semester was to use the RFID system that was set up last semester in order to track drone flight patterns. Important factors of the flight patterns that we want to consider are the average duration outside of the hive, the average number of flight trips, and general drone activity throughout the day. The average duration the drones spend out of the hive will be taken with respect to their age, and the average number of flight trips will be taken with respect to the temperature each day.


The waterproof box containing the RFID equipment.

The RFID equipment inside the waterproof box.

Emma with a bee on her finger!

The RFID gate/sensor at the entrance of the beehive.

Bees with the tags attached.

Using the Aspirator to collect the bees for tagging.

A view of the roof of the Kendeda Building.

Hives located on the roof of the Kendeda Building.