METHOD OF OBTAINING DATA ABOUT A BEE SOCIETY WITH THE HELP OF THEIR ACOUSTIC SIGNAL

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.

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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.

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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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apivox-auditor-1

Apivox Auditor makes it possible to carry out an inspection of bee societies just in a few minutes without opening the hive.

Apivox Auditor available from info@thebeezone.org

or directly from Apivox Auditor

READ MORE ABOUT

APIVOX AUDITOR the Beekeepers Acoustic Assistant

APIVOX AUDITOR the Beekeepers Acoustic Assistant

The continuation of the work of Eddie Woods by Serjio Glebbskij using YOUR smart phone.
apivox-auditor-1

As with many creatures, the Bees have a communication system of their own. It’s been this way for hundreds of years. The question is, can you understand their language?  Likely not. Most beekeepers know colonies can Hiss, Queens can pipe & Workers can do their bee dance. But did you know there are many other sounds that the colony can make in order to communicate? You’ve likely heard some of these sounds, but not able to interprut their meaning. Colonies can also Warble, Wave, Moan, Crackle, Plead, Quibble and Rip a Quilt. But if you aren’t educated in such Bee-language, you are at a sore disadvantage and very much ON YOUR HEELS in your Beekeeping efforts & skills.

With the advent of the Smart Phone, our world has certainly changed. There are now Apps for nearly every facet of life, even in the Beekeeping world. But first, let me ask you some questions. What if, you could have a Smart Phone, with such an App, that could tell you when the Bees are about to Swarm?   What if, you could have an App, that could tell you when the colony is ready to accept a new Queen? What if, you could have an App, that could tell you the General State of the colony and how they feel? And even more variables that have an importance in our Beekeeping efforts. Does such a device exist? Yes! But is it so complex that I can’t understand it either? No!

In 1964, Eddie Woods (1901 – 1976) – a BBC radio engineer – created a device called the Apidictor.  Eddie had a keen ear and had discovered that honey bees produce different sounds depending on conditions within the hive.

For instance, if you knock once on the outside of a hive you should hear a short, sharp hiss/buzz. The shorter and more intense this reaction indicates how defensive the bees are and that indicates that the hive is queen-right.

The other phenomena he was interested in was a warble produced when brood was no longer hatching and/or the queen was eating less. The nurse bees produce this warble and he discovered it was an indicator for swarming.

Using the apidictor a beekeeper would regularly measure the sound level and as it changed could decide when a hive inspection was appropriate.

“Sound engineers are familiar with a phenomenon known as the ‘cocktail party effect’. This is the ability of the human brain, in a room full of chattering people, to pick out and concentrate on one conversation, not necessarily the loudest. Eddie was blessed with this ability and it served him well when listening to the medley of sounds that his microphone picked up in the hive.

One sound that caught his attention was a sort of warbling noise that varied between the notes A and C sharp; that’s 225 – 285 Hz in terms of frequency. He noticed that this sound got steadily louder, then it stopped and a day or so later a swarm took off.

Eventually, he established that it was made by the 4-1/2 to 6 day old nurse bees, his reasoning being as follows:

In a normal colony there are about 4,000 nurse bees, half of which feed the brood and the other half, the queen, who eats 20 times her own weight in a day.

When a colony decides to swarm, its first action is to reduce the supply of food to the queen in order to slim her down into a condition for flying. This puts some of the nurse bees out of work and reduces her egg laying. Hence, a few days later, there are fewer larvae to feed so more nurse bees become unemployed and the whole process is progressive.

The nurses have to get rid of the energy that would go into food production so they probably stand there exercising by flapping their wings, fanning in fact, but how do we account for the peculiar frequency?

In flight, an adult bee flaps its wings 250 times a second but when fanning, it grips the comb and this brings the frequency down to 190 Hz. (Hz is just an abbreviation for Hertz which is the engineer’s word for ‘times a second’.) However, a young bee’s wings do not harden completely until it is 9 days old and until then the resonant frequency is higher. It may be that 4-1/2 day wings resonate at 285Hz and the 6 day old ones at 225Hz and the sound is a mixture of single frequencies rather than a collection of warbles from individual bees.

Eddie built a simple audio frequency amplifier with microphone and headphones and incorporated what is known as a bandpass filter. This allowed the frequency band 225-285Hz through to the ear and blocked off the rest, making it easier to hear.

Note that the flight frequency of 250 Hz falls in this band which is why the tests should be made in the evening after flying has stopped.

Eddie stressed that the warble does not necessarily indicate a swarm; it indicates that the queen has gone off laying and there could be other reasons. In any case, it means a brood nest inspection is needed.

If you give a hive a knock with the flat of the hand, the bees hiss at you and this is something that Eddie listened to very carefully. Under normal conditions it is a short sharp noise, lasting about 1/2 a second, starting and finishing quite suddenly; the bees are alert and defensive. If a swarm is in the offing, the bees are in a happy-go-lucky mood, the sound is not so loud, rising and falling less sharply. Eddie described this as a loyalty sound and he fitted another filter to help pick it out.

With his Apidictor instrument he found he could get up to three weeks warning of swarm preparations and was alerted 10 days before queen cells were started.

He fitted the instrument with a 3-position switch for listening to the normal hive noise, the warble and the hiss. With added refinements he called it the Apdictor, patented it and marketed it in 1964, selling about 300 worldwide.

Continuing Eddy Woods work, a Russian Beekeeper Serjio Glebbskij who studied at the Faculty of Electronics and Computer Science. His specialty was control systems. He worked as a developer of digital program-controlled systems. Beekeeping, is his hobby, which was passed to him from his father, he has keep bees for nearly 30 years. His knowledge was seriously improved after he studied the works of American scientists. However on the topic of acoustic control of bees in general, he has not found better works than those made by Eddy Woods in the U.S. and Eskov in Russia.”

Now Serjio Glebbskij has developed a smartphone app “The APIVOX AUDITOR” Apivox Auditor makes it possible to carry out an inspection of bee societies just in a few minutes without opening the hive.

Apivox Auditor available from info@thebeezone.org

or directly from Apivox Auditor

apivox-auditor-2

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Material below is from Little Creek Bee Ranch     Ken Davis       http://www.littlecreekbeeranch.com/Apivox-Auditor.html

How much do you know about Beekeeping history? Ever hear of Eddy Woods? No? Ever hear of Serjio Glebbskij? No? Ever hear of Rex Boys? No, not that one either. Ever read “Listen to the Bees”, by Rex Boys? No?! Seriously? Then it’s time to bring you up to speed in the Beekeeping world. Here’s a short over view on how we got here.

In the middle of WWII, Winston Churchill challenged the British citizens by creating a program called Dig For Victory. Simply put, what personal contribution can you make, to help the war effort? Maybe you could dig your own garden, and produce more vegtables. Resources were stretched and supplies thin. A young Eddy Woods who was already a Beekeepr, decided he would contribute by studying the sounds of Bee hives. He was also in the British Army, as a Communication Speacilist. His contribution was in building the first Apidictor, in order to listen to the inside of the colony. His plans for this initial Apidictor can be found on BeeSource.com under the link titled “Build It”. In the late 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, listening to the inside of the colony was COMMON PRACTICE in the Beekeeping community. Eddy Woods was successful in predicting Swarm preperations in the colony, BEFORE, the colony decided to leave. This allowed the Beekeeper to take action, and keep more bees at home. (Which most of us would be excited to do also!) Fast forward to today.

As with many creatures, the Bees have a communication system of their own. It’s been this way for hundreds of years. The poor Beekeeper has now become the variable, and not the Bees. The question is, can you understand their language? Likely not. Most beekeepers know colonies can Hiss, Queens can pipe & Workers can do their bee dance. But did you know their are many other sounds that the colony can make in order to communicate? You’ve likely heard some of these sounds, but not able to interprut their meaning. Colonies can also Warble, Wave, Moan, Crackle, Plead, Quibble and Rip a Quilt. But if you aren’t educated in such Bee-language, you are at a sore disatvantage and very much ON YOUR HEELS in your Beekeeping efforts & skills.

With the advent of the Smart Phone, our world has certainly changed. There are now Apps for nearly every fasit of life, even in the Beekeeping world. But first, let me ask you some questions. What if, you could have a Smart Phone, with such an App, that could tell you when the Bees are about to Swarm? Important? We think so. What if, you could have an App, that could tell you when the colony is ready to accept a new Queen? Important? We think so. What if, you could have an App, that could tell you the General State of the colony and how they feel? Important? Yip! And even more variables that have an importance in our Beekeeping efforts. Does such a device exist? Yes! But is it so complex that I can’t understand it either? No!

Bees bring a very high bar to the Beekeeping game. It’s an ongoing challenge to keep up with their intelligence. Maybe this part of Beekeeping isn’t for everyone. But then again, they said that about Henry Ford too~! Change is hard. Change makes people THINK. And people don’t like to THINK. But if you’re willing. And if you’re coachable & humble, maybe the Apivox Auditor will open doors for you in your Beekeeping efforts that otherwise were shut tight until now. It will certainly make our efforts easier!!! Why open the hive if you don’t have to do so? Our “checks” always seem to entail OPENING of a hive. This is disturbing to the colony, causes undue stress and many times kills a few bees needlessly. Much less to say, labor intensive for the Beekeeper. The Apivox Auditor certainly doesn’t REPLACE the Beekeeper. But more importantly, gives us deeper insight into how the colony feels INSIDE their house, WITHOUT us having to always open and check. This alone, is a huge advantage in keeping colonies healthy.

Below, you’ll find various links to videos that Serjio Glebbskij (from Russia), has posted for our understanding and learning. Initially it may seem overwhelming. Keep coming back to view these videos several times. You’ll get the hang of it. It’s easier than it looks.

 

A few notes of clarification;

1) This App is made for Android systems only. Apple is very restrictive in their recording of sounds, etc. iOS Apple phones won’t work. Sorry. When’s your next upgrade?

2) You won’t find this App in the app store. But I’m sure you’ll try anyway.

3) Cost? $40 currently.

4) This is a privately developed App. Not tied to Google or Apple.

5) Only uses 2-3gigs.

6) Can be used on Tablets with Android 4.5 or higher.

7) You can also use Blue Tooth ear piece! Cool uh?

8) Each app is customized to THAT particular device and your area.

You won’t be able to share with friends. Sorry.

9) You will be required to open a Gmail acct for delivery.

10) Fill out the Apivox Auditor Order Form

11) Click on the Order Form link. Print out the order form. Fill out the

required info and send to kadyscout62@gmail.com . In subject line; My Apivox Order form.

12) If you’d like to go check out Serjio’s website, click here; ApivoxAuditor.com

 

Who is Serjio Glebbskij? “I studied at the Faculty of Electronics and Computer Science. My specialty was control systems. But as a result, I worked as a developer of digital program-controlled systems. Beekeeping, this is my hobby, which was passed to me from my father, and I’ve been keeping bees for nearly 30 years. But my knowledge was seriously improved after I studied the works of American scientist, in which I found a lot of interesting details. While on the topic of acoutsitc control in general, I have not found better works than made by Eddy Woods in the U.S. and Eskov in Russia.”

joyo-mic-2joyo-mic

What’s this? This is a Joyo I-mini mic for your Smart Phone. Do you have to have this to run the Apivox Auditor? No, but it sure makes a difference in the readings. This little device enhances the sounds coming out of the hive & into the phone, which gives us a better reading on the Apivox. Comes as packaged in picture below. We typically have these in stock, on site. Cost is $40. + S&H $10 = $50 total. Check with us for availability upon ordering your Apivox Auditor.


Internal Mic Set Up
 on the Apivox  Set up details

Set Up of the Apivox Auditor

External Mic Set Up on the Apivox

White noise for Setup

Beehive sounds for Setup testing

Frequency level tests for Setup – 50hz to 550hz

Examples of how to use the Apivox

General Control Queenless Non-acceptance

Monitoring of Queenless Off Shoot

Queenless Non-acceptance

Queenless

Readiness Control

Swarming Control

Readiness to Accept New Queen

Apidictor Mode

Readiness to Accept Mode

General State Control

Various Modes Tests in Spain

Queenless Tests in Spain

Apivox Auditor makes it possible to carry out an inspection of bee societies just in a few minutes without opening the hive.

Apivox Auditor available from info@thebeezone.org

or directly from Apivox Auditor

Apivox Auditor. Theoretical Foundations of the “winter control” option

Winter control of bee colonies is very important procedure, especially in cold areas with long winters and subs zero temperatures. These two factors make impossible, the free movement of bees inside the hive also their cleaning flights. Any inspection of bee societies at such time leads to their anxiety. Anxiety increases the activity of the bees, so the bees eat more food. This leads to an overload of their intestine which during long wintering period can lead to serious consequences.  An inspection method with minimal disturbance of bees would be ideal. Acoustic inspection of bee societies in winter time seems to be the best one.

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What are the theoretical foundations of this method of control used the Apivox Auditor?  In this case, we relied on the studies of Russian scientists & beekeepers and in particular, on the works of Professor Eskov. His works describe the general state of the acoustic characteristics of wintering bee societies. In addition to this we have made our own tests and observations on our experimental apiary. So what does the Russian scientist claim? Based on his research and hundreds of measurements of acoustic background of wintering bee societies, it is possible with high degree of confidence assert,  that there is a direct relationship of the concentration of carbon dioxide in the hive, and the strength and intensity of ventilation, as well as the state and excitation of bees, during the winter season.

 

1) With the increase of CO2 concentration in the hive from 2% to 5-7% there is growth of ventilation force and intensity. This is an increase in amplitude and also in frequency of ventilation audio signals. It rises about 50 hertz. This shifts the peak of intensity within the sound frequency band of 70-180 Hz *1 the shift is from the range of 70-100 Hz to the range of 100-120 Hz. There is also a corresponding increase of intensity in the “WORKING STATE” sound audio band *2.  The intensity of the peak signals shifts from frequency range 200-240 hertz, to frequency range 240-270 Hz.

 

2) With the increase of CO2 concentration in the hive from 9-10%, there is a much greater increase of ventilation intensity.  The intensity peak of the ventilation sound signals moves to the frequency range 120-140 Hz, also intensity peak of signals, which tell us about the state of the bees, shifts from 240-270 Hz to 300-340 Hz.

 

Notes-

*1 The “VENTILATION” sound audio bandwidth spans is the ……………..         Low-frequency range from   50-190 Hz

*2 “WORKING STATE”  sound audio bandwidth, is the ……………………          Mid-frequency range  from 200-400 Hz.

*3 “MOBILISATION & EXCITEMENT” bandwidth

this also includes the sounds of forager bees, this is the …………………….       High frequency range          400-550 Hz .

 

The degree of infection of any bee society with varroa mites, also affects the state of the acoustic background of wintering bee society. The more infected the bee society is, the more intense are signals in the “WORKING STATE”  sound audio bandwidth 200-380 Hz *2. According to the analysis of the spectra of background noise in 376 hives by Professor Eskov, he stated the following…

1) In the bee societies where the infection was 2-8%, the peak signals characterizing the “WORKING STATE” is positioned in the frequency range of 270-300 Hz,

2)  In the bee societies where the infection was 50%, the peak signals characterizing the “WORKING STATE” is positioned in the frequency range of 300-380 Hz,

It should be noted that the strength of signals (the amplitude) was not of fundamental importance. It means that it is not possible to use the power (the amplitude) of sounds of wintering bee society to determine the degree of infection of the bee society with Varroa mite. Only the frequency range, in which peak intensity is situated is meaningful.   It is only the frequency shift that indicates the state of a bee society.

So the “WINTER CONTROL” option of Apivox Auditor is using the results of researches of Russian scientists on this topic. We hope that this “WINTER CONTROL” option will help beekeepers in countries with long cold winters to monitor their hives easier, and reduce the deaths of bee colonies due to the timely checks.

Apivox Auditor makes it possible to carry out an inspection of bee societies just in a few minutes without opening the hive.

Apivox Auditor available from info@thebeezone.org

or directly from Apivox Auditor

READ MORE ABOUT

APIVOX AUDITOR the Beekeepers Acoustic Assistant