Bees – Live From Downtown Auckland!
As part of a collaboration with BeezThingz and For The Love Of Bees with the Waitemata Local Board we have been able to secure these 2 apiaries in Myers Park and Victoria Parks in downtown Auckland for the next couple of years at least.
Using these sites with help from our collaborators and sponsors like Ceracell Beekeeping Supplies we run beekeeper training and public education classes around sustainable bee management and biological practices that enhance the environment for a better world for bees.
As part of this training, we use the sensors to give our students a deeper understanding of the thermal regulation of the colony inside the hive. We also use the BuzzTech software to make sure our beekeepers follow best practices in inspection logging and data collection.
Adding the Buzz!
BuzzTech provides the remote monitoring of the hives and the inspection record management system.
For the Beekeeper is imperative to constantly monitor the health of colonies and record data when keeping bees in high profile sites. The 5 individual temperature readings taken from 2 hives are taken every hour and a physical inspection at least once a month.
As well as being available in the web portal, results refresh on on this dashboard every day to show our community at a glance the state of these inner city pollinators!
30th August 2017 Update – Colony SAVED in Victoria Park
Being able to see exactly when the bees abandoned the brood we were able to act quickly to feed the bees and sufficiently warm the brood chamber by closing off the ventilated base of the hive to get the bees back onto the brood and the queen laying.
This was a VERY close call; if the colony had been left for more than 24 hours without intervention it would have been too late.
The initial visit was 10am on the 28th – in the Victoria Park graph, this is reflected in the colony max raises higher than the min again.
Peter (the beekeeper) replaced the recovering colony with a much stronger colony at 4pm on the 29th and the recovering colony has moved to a more secluded apiary for treatment back to health.
28th August 2017 Update – Colony collapse in Victoria Park
An event observed in the sensor data on the night of the 27th indicated that something had changed within the monitored hive at Victoria Park. The maximum temperature inside the hive matched the minimum temperature overnight and remains near parity as the day warms up.
In comparison to the previous day/night pattern and other hives, this indicates that the colony has lost its ability to warm the brood.
After an early morning inspection to see what had changed, it was clear that the number of bees in the hive was not enough to keep the 2 frames of brood warm. The bees had moved to the bottom corner of the hive leaving the brood without heat.
Due to the design of the hive, the ventilated base could have played a part as it seemed the small number of bees left in the hive had moved to a corner away from the brood and easier to warm.
Though the outcome is a likeley failure colony failure, it makes sense to keep them going until we can drop in some more brood.
To try to give them a boost and keep them going we have
- added a feeder with 50/50 sugar water and 20ml of KOBEE bee feed.
- closed off the ventilated floor running the length of the hive.
- broke a capped honey frame and placed it close to the remaining bees
- placed the FeedBee pollen pattie above the remaining bees.
- reduced the entrance to a single bee space
Some pictures to go with the event in the sensor data:
It is worth noting that this hive had 2 healthy brood frames and 3 frames with bees last time we opened it a month ago. Having not located the queen yet we are unsure as to the exact cause of the cause at this stage. No doubt we will know more by Sunday.
The other 2 hives on this site and the 3 at Myers Park are still working well, both have over 2 frames of healthy brood and a decent store of honey and pollen to keep them going.
The hive Heartbeat sensors sit across the top of the brood frames (where the baby bees are) in each hive and communicate via an access point to our servers. In this case, we have installed a Deep Cycle Battery and Hotspot Access Point for local WiFi and access to the Internet at each site.
For more information on monitoring hives, please call or email Julian on the details below:
A Healthy Diet!
To ensure the bees thrive in an environment like this, BeezThingz check and record the amount of nectar and pollen stores year round on top of the sensor data, using these measures they can decide whether to add pollen patties and/or fill up the frame feeders with fresh syrup mixed seaweed and essential oil tonic.
KOBEE has all the Amino Acids and Traces elements bees require.
Bee Management Services!
If you would like to know more about BeezThingz Bee management services,
give us a call on 09-622-3055 or visit our website www.beezthingz.co.nz