Tag Archives: city bee monitoring

okno spring gardening

Following the bee monitoring workshop, we have an Okno OpenGreens working day:we start to clean out the garden, compost last years’ herbs and make a design for the coming season, bring in the monitored hives and introduce new garden projects, e.g. ‘butterfly project’.

bee monitoring workshop part 2

All sensors for the observationhive arrived and we got 4 webcams, so we’ll have a lot of toys to play with in our 2nd bee-monitoring workshop.We can start enhancing our glass observation hive! Bart Aertsen, professional designer carpenter, will make a shed to protect our new observation hive from hard sun and snow. He’ll also bring some working material and a dremel. I have an additional dremel to use.Please bring your additional electronics, your soldering iron (we have some at okno – 1 good one) and more stuff you think to be handy …

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All previous research and work from the first bee monitoring workshop can be consulted here:
http://timeinventorskabinet.org/wiki/doku.php/bee_monitoring_workshops (general)
http://timeinventorskabinet.org/wiki/doku.php/beehives (beehive desings)
http://timeinventorskabinet.org/wiki/doku.php/data_harvesting (electronics)

city honeybees: spring cleansing!

Monday february 8th, 14°C and all bees are flying out. They start their spring cleansing flights, and they pull all dead bees out of the hive. The temperature inside the hive is rising up towards 33°C – this means that the queen started ponding eggs again, and that there is young brood to be taken care off by the worker bees.
I wonder how it is perceived by the bee colony, to fly out and to find nothing: no pollen yet, no nectar neither. The bee-flights are executed close to the hive. The bees stay low to the ground, as if they are looking for something …

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the bee monitoring workshop 3+4/2

A workshop in which we try to understand the distributed intelligence of social insects (here a bee colony) : their behaviour, ecology and sociobiology. By monitoring the bees and beehives with all kinds of sensors, we study the colony as a community. We will document this research with all kind of media (photo, film, audio, text, code) and we will use the extracted data to make artworks based upon the bees behaviour over time. We try to connect nature and technology in a new relationship of interconnections.

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To schedule our research and for purposes of documentation, we devide the work into 4 parts, which all will have their pages on the wiki where participants can add information:
1. The Theory + Reading List
2. The new BeeHives
3. The Data Harvesting (Technology)
4. The Artworks and Projects
You can find all info here:

bee-world: micro images

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Enter the fascinating world of micro photography.
Check the minuscule fleshy parts on the ovary of a fig. Inspect a varroa-destructor mite, recovered between the thorax-fur of a honeybee. Calculate the cubitalindex on the wings of a bee, to determine her exact race and lineage. Be surprised to discover the fur cover of this little wild animal.

honeybee attacked by a varroa mite

[flashvideo filename=https://so-on.annemariemaes.net/SO-ON/OpenGreen/bee-varroa.flv height=262 width=448 image=https://so-on.annemariemaes.net/SO-ON/OpenGreen/bee-varroa.jpg /]

During a check of the hives, I found this young workerbee just next to the flighthole. The t° being below 10°, I guess she was hit by the cold. She seemed more dead than alive, and I decided to take her inside for an inspection under the microscope. While filming, a varroamite fell out of her thorax-fur. The young bee got more lively again, due to the warmth of the microscope lights. I put her in front of the flighthole, and she nicely walked into the hive again. I destroyed the dirty varroa mite.
Varroa is still a huge problem for hive#01. Some 30 mites a week are dropping down, even after a treatment with Thymovar. I’ll have to look into another solution if I don’t want to lose the colony. The 4 other colonies (2 at so-on’s and 2 at okno’s Open Green) are healthy.

just a perfect day – 10.10.2010

Just a perfect day. Indian summer. The bees bring in pollen in abundancy. I just discovered the immense ivy covering the whole wall of la Bellone. Winterfood for my bees.
Today I started to note down the inside hive t° every hour, and compared it to the outside t° and the outside humidity.
In the sun, reading Indeterminacy. Cage was a well-known mycologist. Crazy about fungi. Short stories and mesostics about mushrooms. And later in the afternoon I met Thoreau. Walden & the civil disobedience. Wild is exiting, he says. And tame is dull.
Writing the wilderness. Can a poem give expression to nature?
Later, before sunset, cleaned out the rotten tomatoes but took their seeds for next year… and sown some winter lettuce in the cold greenhouse. The olives are slowly ripening and the figues are big and sweet.

The day and night of 2010/10/10 I did some measurements inside and outside hive#01. On the document you can see that the in- and outside t° are running up- and down on a proportional basis.
The t° sensor was placed at the outer inside of the hive, not in the broodnest itself. On saturday, october 16th, I expanded the observation by adding a digital thermometer to the hive#03, which is situated next to hive#01. I put the sensor in both hives in the broodnest itself. The average outside t° is much colder yet, at night the t° often falls down towards 4°.
I noticed the immediate rise of inside-hive t°, now that the sensor is in the center of the broodnest.
In daytime (no immediate sun) the hive t° was rising till 36°, at night the t° fell down to 23°. There is a difference of ± 3° in the average inside hive t° of hive#01 (less) and hive@02 (more). I don’t know (but should find out) if this t° difference is due to the (still) high varroa contamination of hive#01, even after 2 treatments with Thymovar.

The drawing on the rooftop is part of an art project by GOeART.

Following the Nazca lines, let’s turn the roofs of buildings and unused, abandoned spaces into works of art that can be seen from space! This is not just about being creative and artistic, but also making gestures on invisible, unknown and unused areas of our heritage. Being able to access aerial views of these areas is an unprecedented opportunity to practice a monumental art which says something about us, where we live or don’t live, how we relate to a globalised world, our intimacies, these holes, these windows which hide and reveal us … How? Let’s use the roofs of our city as something to draw on. You can’t see these drawings from terra firma, only from the sky. New works can be seen each time the satellites that take aerial views of our cities and areas pass overhead. Find our hidden guides, get up on the roofs and help create the first work of art visible from space.

melissa : the origin of the word honey is feminin

Beekeeping goes back throughout history and was an art that was closely related to goddess worship in the ancient world. Bees are a matriarchal society, closely related to the feminine.

MELISSA – “bee” was the title given to Aphrodite’s high priestess at the honeycomb-shrine of Mount Eryx, where the Goddess’s fetish was a golden honeycomb. Pythagoreans perceived the hexagon as an expression of the spirit of Aphrodite whose sacred number was six. She worshipped bees as her sacred creatures because they understood how to create perfect hexagons in their honeycomb. In Her temple at Eryx, the priestesses were melissae, “bees” and the Goddess herself was entitled Melissa, the Queen Bee.
Seeking to understand nature’s secrets through geometry, the Pythagoreans meditated on the endless triangular lattice, all sixty-degree angles, that results from extending the sides of all hexagons in the honey comb diagram until their lines meet in the centers of adjacent hexagons. It seemed to them a revelation of the underlying symmetry of the cosmos.

The bee was usually looked upon as a symbol of the feminine potency of nature, because while creating a magical elixir, known for its preservation properties, they were also pollinating flowers, increasing plant fertility, and abundance.

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colony collapse disorder

Colony collapse disorder (CCD) or sometimes honey bee depopulation syndrome (HBDS) is a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or European honey bee colony abruptly disappear. While such disappearances have occurred throughout the history of apiculture, the term colony collapse disorder was first applied to a drastic rise in the number of disappearances of Western honey bee colonies in North America in late 2006. Colony collapse is economically significant because many agricultural crops worldwide are pollinated by bees. European beekeepers observed similar phenomena in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, and initial reports have also come in from Switzerland and Germany, albeit to a lesser degree while the Northern Ireland Assembly receives reports of a decline greater than 50%. Possible cases of CCD have also been reported in Taiwan since April 2007.
The cause or causes of the syndrome are not yet fully understood, although many authorities attribute the problem to biotic factors such as Varroa mites and insect diseases (i.e., pathogens including Nosema apis and Israel acute paralysis virus). Other proposed causes include environmental change-related stresses, malnutrition and pesticides (e.g. neonicotinoids such as imidacloprid), and migratory beekeeping. More speculative possibilities have included both cell phone radiation and genetically modified (GM) crops with pest control characteristics, though experts say no evidence exists for either assertion. It has also been suggested that it may be due to a combination of many factors and that no single factor is the cause.