Evaluation of the honey bee colonies weight gain during the intensive foraging period
¹Department of Computer Systems, Faculty of Information Technologies, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Liela iela 2, LV-3001 Jelgava, Latvia
²Institute of Plant Protection Research ‘Agrihorts’, Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies, Paula Lejina iela 2, LV-3004 Jelgava, Latvia
Beekeeping in Latvia has a long tradition and it is a classical branch of agriculture. In Latvia, there is no traditional beekeeping region, and beekeeping is performed in all regions. Honey yield is influenced by various factors – variety of crops (nectar plants) around the apiary, man-made changes in land/forests (deforestation), climate change, beekeepers’ actions, etc. Application of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the field of beekeeping can bring benefits to the beekeepers. To be more specific, continuous remote monitoring of certain bee colony parameters can improve beekeeper’s apiary management, by informing timely about the nectar flow (or even provide information on bee colony states, e.g., swarming). In such a way, beekeepers can plan their next actions – prepare supers or even choose to move the apiary to a different geographical location. Within this research, weight gain of the ten honey bee colonies was remotely monitored and analysed during two-week period at the beginning of the summer 2021 in Vecauce, Latvia, using the precision beekeeping approach. This monitoring period corresponded to intensive flowering of the winter rapeseed and field beans. Colonies were equipped with the automatic scales. In addition, colony and environmental temperature was monitored. Measurements were taken every thirty minutes. Analysing the obtained data, weight increase can be observed in all colonies, from 17 to 48 kg. As well, based on weight data, swarming event can be identified. Constant monitoring of weight change can also help to identify daily patterns in honey bee activity.