With a consuming interest in engineering and innovation since a young age, Huw obtained a First Class Honour’s degree in Electronic Engineering and PhD in Microwave Engineering. A keen beekeeper for over 15 years now, Huw has a passion for finding out what bees are doing while undisturbed. As a result, Huw is the managing director and co-founder of Arnia, a UK company that researches and develops remote hive monitoring equipment
Lecture Title: “Electronic monitoring as a tool for better beekeeping and queen breeding”
Arnia is unique in combining colony acoustics monitoring with other parameters such as brood temperature, humidity, hive weight and apiary weather conditions. The data collected offers a beekeeper/queen breeder a powerful tool to examine the colony and queen conditions without disturbing the bees. Weight data can be used to calculate the “adjusted production figure” (average harvested by each apiary minus the harvest of each hive) for each individual hive in order to avoid mistakes in qualifying strong lines due to apiary effect. Hive weight can be seen as a direct measure of a colony’s metabolism or energy requirements, which in turn shows how energy efficient a colony is.
With view to the current problems with queen health and performance, temperature profiles from the queen breeding nucs offer a clear explanation whether temperature gradient is responsible for the untimely emergence of queens.
Acoustics tell us about bee activity and its type, which is potentially a very useful measure for determining at which temperature different races of bees fly, thus giving an insight into adaptability of native and non native races.
Finally, the external conditions, which ultimately govern the bee activity, are integrated with all the measured parameters to put them into context.