Information and Communication Technologies and Robotics for Sustainable Agriculture
Application of information technologies in Precision Apiculture

Project No: 14301

Project dates:
1 Aug 2013 - 31 Aug 2016

Coordinator:
Aleksejs Zacepins, Latvian University of Agriculture (Latvia)

Collaborating Institutions:

Saban Tekin, Gaziosmanpasa University (Turkey)

Oliver Hensel, University of Kassel (Germany)

Peter Ahrendt, Aarhus University (Denmark)

Links:
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Bee colony temperature...
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Proposal Summary

This project proposes implementation of precision agriculture technologies and methods in the beekeeping. Precision agriculture approach is adapted for beekeeping based on the various measurements of individual bee colonies all year around thus detecting different states of colonies and apiaries enabling rapid reaction by the beekeeper in case of necessity. Digital measurements such as temperature, humidity, audio and video can be used to detect several states of a bee colony: swarming, broodless stage, brood rearing, illness. Lots of separated scientific research has been done with this techniques related to bee biology, but they have never been combined to develop a apicultural health observation and warning system.

Main Results

During the project different bee colony monitoring devices was developed and tested. They included one-wire temperature monitoring system, wireless temperature system, audio and video monitoring systems. Together with hardware also software for data collection and analysis was developed. Based on collected data, several bee colony state identification (swarming, brood rearing, broodless) algorithms was developed. Decision support system for early detection of colony state change was also developed. During the project guidelines for Precision Beekeeping implementation and Smart apiary management was introduced. During the project also effectiveness and sustainability of specific bee colony wintering building was evaluated. Project results are summarized in various scientific publications.

Exploitation

Project results can be used by scientists and by beekeepers for development of advanced smart apiary monitoring systems. Results shows some advantages and disadvantages of different bee colony monitoring systems and methods. Smart apiary management cannot be done without application of information and communication technologies, but each individual beekeeper should define what systems he needs most. Smart apiary management should minimize the manual inspection of colonies, and maximize the colony health. Project results can be considered as a knowledge base for further improvement of the Precision Beekeeping.