An image from BeeMon showing bees at the entrance to a beehive.

Vee is for Visual

BeeVee is a visual analysis tool being developed to track activity at the beehive. Visual analysis of the BeeMon data began with a utility to count the number of bees entering and exiting the hive. Because bees generally die away from the hive, the difference between these counts can be a good indicator of the health of the colony overall. The local traffic report was only the beginning, however. Visual observation at the hive site can tell us so much more!

Research is ongoing to better identify potential invaders at the hive and other threats to the colony, presence of pollen and pollen color, as well as behaviors such as clearing, swarming, and fanning. By identifying and analyzing these behaviors, particularly in the context of changes in pollen flow, sounds, temperature, and humidity, we hope to establish a baseline of “normal” behaviors – potentially on a hive by hive basis. That baseline will then serve as a frame of reference for determining when behaviors fall outside the range of normal behaviors so the system will be able to alert the beekeeper to potential problems at the hive-site.