I would like to share this exciting ongoing research, I think it has the potential change bee-keeping as much as the removable frame of Reverend Langstroth and his concept of bee space in 1851. All classic works on the behavior of the bees converge on the fact that the entire range of the acoustic signals of bees can be divided into three major ranges, defined by the meaning and a few specifics –

VENTILATION band width, is the

Low-frequency range 50-190 Hz.

There is unanimous agreement the sounds made by bees during the ventilation of their hives. The bees adjust the conditions of the hive in accordance with the biological requirements of the colony. Change of the microclimate in the hive has a direct impact on the intensity of the components of the acoustic signal of bees in this range.

Changes in the ventilation band of sounds occur with change of the external temperature, for example when the nest is overheated, – the ventilation intensifies. When the bees are bringing in a lot of nectar and need to remove water from it, the intensity of the ventilation also increases. Ventilation also increases sharply during the winter period, or with a temperature increase in the hive and with increase in carbon dioxide concentration. When the concentration of carbon dioxide increases by 10%, the amplitude of the audio signal in a frequency band of ventilation increases at 20-25dBs.  A small part of the higher frequency part of this band intersects with the sounds of drones in flight and also sounds that characterize the passivity of young bees.


WORKING STATE sounds band width, is the

Mid-frequency range 200-400 Hz.


Associated by all scientists with the internal beehive activity of bees – installed with a high degree of reliability, the relationship of signals in this range of 210-330 Hz processes associated with the bees’ heat production – maintaining the temperature in the nest, as the sounds of this range are produced by the thorax vibration, in the process of which the heat is released. In the background sound of the swarm, in the early days of its settling into a new hive, 300-325 Hz range is the most intense, and as we know, the first few days are devoted to internal beehive works and building of honeycomb. During hibernation, the sounds of this range characterize anxiety of bees, due to the Varroa mite infestations. The more the colony is infected – the bigger amount of bees is bothered by the mites, and the more peak intensity is shifted to higher frequencies. Feed collection activity – while dancing bees make sounds with a frequency of 200-300 Hz. Signals of foragers also lie in two ranges – one of which is 200-350 Hz. Absence of feed in nature shifts the signal peak intensity in the range of 200-240 Hz. With the emergence of honey collection in nature, the second peak of intensive components appears in the high frequency part of the range. In general, the presence in the hive of sounds of exactly this frequency range is characterized by the fact that Johnston’s organ, through which bees are able to hear the vibrations, reacts as much as possible to this exact range. During honey harvest it happens like this – young, free from work bees of all ages, which are waiting for the arrival of foragers, remain close to the hive entrance block in anticipation for the sounds of 265 Hz frequency, produced by foragers, or wishing to unload and looking for young bees, or inviting new flight bees for nectar with high honey yield and lack of a flight bee. With a balanced number of bees working on honey collection, the intensity of this sound decreases. Sounds of bees’ flight – are based in the frequency range from 180 to 260 Hz. The frequency of the sound of bees flying depends on their age, but in fact, it depends on the weight of the bees. Younger bees weigh more and therefore they have to flap their wings more frequently, and old bees are losing fat mass and weigh much less. This is confirmed by Spangler studies – beat frequency of the wings of bees flying for food by 50 meters – 315 Hz, flying over 1500 meters – 207 Hz. Those, just flying around the hive at a distance of up to 50 meters – 263,4 Hz, and at a distance of over 500 meters – 198 Hz. ! This means that young heavy-weight bees are flying for food at close distances and around the hive, while old and light-weight bees’ flight at long distances. In this way, they can bring more honey with less on its delivery. Therefore, if you do not use these sounds to count flying in and flying out bees, then they interfere with the precise monitoring of the status of bees in the daytime, and so the measurements made after cessation of bees flight, in particular in the range of swarming impulse or inner hove works, will be more informative.


MOBILISATION & EXCITEMENT Bandwidth also includes the sounds of forager bees, this is the

High frequency range 400-550 Hz .

Considered an indicator of excitation of bees, and a signal area, which has a value of mobilization. It has been noticed that the compounds of this range before the exit of the swarm increase, especially in times of overflights and under the influence of stimulation, dramatically changing the functional state of the bees. This sound range has the highest intensity in the beginning of the day, in the hours of first bringing in and off-loading of honey. In the course of the day, the signals in this range subside. This is also one of the signal ranges of forager bees.



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