There are some new high-tech tools that can help beekeepers with two of the biggest challenges they face.
One is swarming, when a large portion of a bee community decides to leave and start their own colony.
Taking good care of bees and then seeing them fly off must really – wait for it – sting.
The other, robbing, is when a stronger colony ambushes a weaker one to steal all their honey.
Not only are these big problems for keepers, they can happen extremely quickly.
They can be prevented if a beekeeper is watching, but without, say, expensive video monitoring, they can’t watch the hive all day, every day.
Or can they?
Herbert Aumann is an engineer and a beekeeper who built a system that uses tools like radar to monitor who’s coming in and out of a hive, as well as the vibrations inside.
If the system picks up telltale signs that a swarm or a robbery is about to take place, it can send an alert, and the beekeeper can shut it down before it’s too late.
Aumann says his system is as effective as video monitors, but a lot cheaper.
He’s looking to expand his system so it can connect to the internet, and maybe even smartphone apps.
Just think, if your hive needs you, your phone just might buzz.
Here’s another tool in the toolbox against food waste.
IKEA has a new cookbook – or scrapsbook, they call it – which has recipes from some successful chefs aimed at helping you use those leftovers and last bits of a food container rather than just dumping them out because you don’t know what to do with them.
Radar-Piezoelectric Tech Tracks Hive Mind—of Bees (IEEE Spectrum)
IKEA’s Free Scrapsbook Cookbook For Food Waste (Cool Hunting)
Bees photo by Steve Bates via Flickr/Creative Commons