UMD Researchers Gather Bee Data to Understand Colony Collapse Disorder – NPR

October 6, 2014

From: University of Maryland/College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences

WAMU 88.5

UMD Researchers Seek to Understand Bee Deaths By Building ‘Sentinel Hives’

By: Jonathan Wilson

 If you’ve read about honeybees recently, you’ve probably come across the term “Colony collapse disorder,” or CCD. It hit the mainstream lexicon a few years ago, but bee researchers started talking about it back in 2006.


VanEngelsdorp says a “Sentinel Hive” would include a specially-designed scale to measure hives for honey production and consumption, and would also include a state of the art trap, placed at the entrance of the hive once every two weeks, to collect pollen from incoming bees. Scientists could then figure out which flowers were attracting bees; important data since food sources for bees are in shorter supply these days as well.

The setups would also require beekeepers to send bees back to vanEngelsdorp’s team for dissection, to check for varroa mites — parasites that can wipe out entire hives.

“The idea is that we can get this real-time information on the web, allowing a group of beekeepers that live around that hive to look at what’s going on in that hive so they can make management decisions about their operation,” he says.

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