Penrith Beekeepers News
Arnia Monitoring Installed
Thanks to the generous grants received from Penrith Town Council, the Penrith Lions Club and Cumbria Beekeepers Association PDBKA has been able to install a Remote Hive Monitoring System which will provide information about two colonies. It consists of a battery powered system of sensors which are placed on the frames inside the hives and metal scales which fit under the hives to record its weight. There is sufficient equipment in the ‘Gateway Pack’ to monitor two hives. So the sensors and scales have been linked to one wooden hive and one made of polystyrene. The data will be analysed and used to compare the survival rate and fitness of the bees in each of the hives. It should enable PDBKA to confidently recommend either wooden or polystyrene hives to beginner beekeepers, depending on which one seems to provide better protection for the bees during the cold, damp, Cumbrian winter months.
The information is relayed to the beekeepers’ computers. The pictorial and graphical presentation of the data enables the beekeepers to know what actions need to be taken to ensure the continued well being of the colony.
- the weight of the hive, which indicates whether the bees have sufficient stores to avoid starvation during the winter/ at times in the summer when there is a gap in the nectar supply.
- the presence of the queen bee and the status of her brood
- when the bees are preparing to swarm.
- the bees’ foraging activity and the amount of pollen/ nectar which is being brought into the colony.
- the impact of pests/ diseases such as the varroa mite on the bees’ health.