Identify swarming events

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Bees produce specific sound patterns. [1] During a study conducted by Ferrari and colleagues (2008), an in-hive sound recording (microphone) of 270 h revealed, that the sound characteristics and temperature change at swarming events. While the sound frequency increased from a range of 100-300 Hz to 500-600 Hz, the temperature drops from 35 °C to 33 °C. [2] In comparison, Seeley and Tautz (2001) observed that certain workers start to emit short whistling tones with a rising frequency of 100-200 Hz to about 200-250 Hz about 1 hour prior reproductive swarming occurs. They further indicated, that this tone causes other bees to prepare for departure by warming up their flight muscles. [3] Bencsik and colleagues (2011) used accelerometers and its vibrational amplitudes to explore the swarming behavior of A. mellifera resulting in a correlation of data with occurred swarming events. For further improvement of the study setup, they suggest to combine the used methods with a weather monitoring logging device and to use a pattern recognition algorithm that is more complex than the cross-correlation function used for their study. [4] Another useful information to predict swarming events and to assess honey bee health problems is gaining knowledge about the particular brood cycle. In a further study by Bencsik et al. in 2015, a correlation between vibrational amplitude data and the brood cycle in a close range of the sensor was found. They further suggest, that the process of brood cycle monitoring could be conducted with only one hour measurements during the night. [5]


  1. Zaecepins, A., Kviesis, A., Ahrendt, P., Richter, U., Tekin, S., & Durgun, M. (Hg.) (2016). Beekeeping in the future–smart apiary management. 17th International Carpathian Control Conference (ICCC). Pubslished online, URL (access date: 21.11.2018):
  2. Ferrari, S., Silva, M., Guarino, M., & Berckmans, D. (2008). Monitoring of swarming sounds in bee hives for early detection of the swarming period. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 64(1), 72–77.
  3. Seeley, T. D., Tautz, J. (2001). Worker piping in honey bee swarms and its role in preparing for liftoff. Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology, 187(8), 667–676.
  4. Bencsik, M., Bencsik, J., Baxter, M., Lucian, A., Romieu, J., & Millet, M. (2011). Identification of the honey bee swarming process by analysing the time course of hive vibrations. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 76(1), 44–50.
  5. Bencsik, M., Le Conte, Y., Reyes, M., Pioz, M., Whittaker, D., Crauser, D., …, & Newton, M. I. (2015). Honeybee Colony Vibrational Measurements to Highlight the Brood Cycle. PloS One, 10(11), e0141926.