VIP RFID Bee Team: Fall 2021
Z. M. Altizer, Z. M. Kim, S. Talwar
During winter, bees sometimes starve to death due to insufficient supply of honey or from the phenological mismatches between when the bees emerge & the availability of floral resources. To counter this issue, urban beekeepers provide their bees with sugar substitutes, but these substitutes lack the necessary enzymes & nutrients found in their natural food supply. We explored possible solutions to maximize foraging behaviors & ultimately increase the natural food supply of urban honeybees, which can potentially increase pollination & the viability of surrounding biodiversity. Due to limited time & resources, our experiment will begin in Spring 2022. Since we only have access to one incubator, we plan to set the incubation temperature at 32.5°C. We also plan on recording the age, duration of incubation, & movement in & out of the hive using the RFID system. To monitor the hive temperature, we will be using BroodMinder to log & store live hive temperature & humidity data via Bluetooth.
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Photo credit: Zoë Altizer