SAMS-system based recommendations/management options

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Mass nectar flow:

SAMS-system based recommendations for a mass nectar flow event(illustration: Perempuangimbal/LabtekIndie/SAMS project).

  • Explanation: during nectar flow bees collect nectar and pollen to sustain their colony. If a major nectar flow is in bloom, bees are able to collect the nectar in high abundances. The surplus of nectar is converted into honey and stored in the hive.

  • Output SAMS-system: increase in weight by a certain percentage (e.g. 10%) compared to the average weight data of the last few days. The percentage value may be country- or operation depending.

  • Recommendations:
    • Take a look into the hive
    • Check if the honey is ripe (when >70% of the frame is sealed; no brood on the frame): use a refractometer or do a shake test (turn the honey frame horizontally and shake it jerkily -if sphlashes are observable, the honey needs more time)
    • extract the honey and leave enough forage to the bees
    • protect your product from direct sunlight and store it in a dry surrounding
    • If the honey is not ready yet, do nothing and close the hive


SAMS-system based recommendations for absconding behavior(illustration: Perempuangimbal/LabtekIndie/SAMS project).

  • Explanation: Absconding behavior occurs when the environmental conditions for bees are unfavorable (food shortage, disease/pesticide pressure). As a result, the honey bees leave their nest/hive and leave food and brood behind. The behavior is mainly observed in tropical regions.

  • Output SAMS-system: Theoretically, absconding should be determined by temperature and weight data. After absconding happened, there are no “living beings” that could perform thermoregulation inside the hive, therefore a noticeable weight and temperature reduction should be observed.

  • Recommendations:
    • Take a look into the hive
    • If absconding has not taken place yet, revitalize with two frames containing adult bees, brood and pollen
    • Alternatively, requeen the colony
    • If the colony already absconded think of sanitation decisions. A sanitation decision includes the cleaning and disinfection of the affected hive to avoid disease-transfer. Possible methods are to flame-scarf the inside of the hive (frames and equipment), or to use chemicals (bleach, costic soda, similar substances...). Please adhere to the instructions and work carefully.

Broodless state:

SAMS-system based recommendations for bee colonies without brood (illustration: Perempuangimbal/LabtekIndie/SAMS project).

  • Explanation: A Broodless state is defined as a bee colony without brood (eggs, larvae or pupae). Natural broodless states occur in healthy bee colonies, are country depending and emerge during dearth periods (winter, dry season, rainy season…) or concern colonies who have recently swarmed and have no mated queen yet. Besides, broodless states can also occur unnaturally during the active brood rearing cycles of honey bees. Most of the time unnatural broodless states or nearly broodless states are related to the manipulation of the beekeeper, for example by using substances for varroa mite control (formic acid). Cases that are not related to the mentioned scenarios most often have a pathological origin Either way, broodless states should be investigated [1]

  • Output SAMS-system: This state could be detected by monitoring the temperature. During brood rearing bees try to maintain stable temperatures (34-36°C), but in broodless states the temperature inside the hive tends to depend on the ambient temperature [2].

  • Recommendations:
    • Note: epending on the season and climate zone, broodless states are desired (e.g. winter in temperate zones)
    • Unexpected broodless state: take a look into the hive
    • Add frames containing adult bees, open brood (eggs and larvae) to the broodless colony


SAMS-system based recommendations for dead bee colonies (illustration: Perempuangimbal/LabtekIndie/SAMS project).

  • Explanation: Colony death has a variety of reasons and reach from diseases or pests affecting the colony, over starvation to high exposure of pesticides. Depending on the cause of death, the appearance of a dead colony also differs. For example, in CCD, there are almost no dead bees around the hive, while it is the case if the colony was affected by a pest or pathogen. In the latter case, the sister bees clean their hive from sick bees to counteract the threatening organisms. In comparison, poisoned bees, for example through pesticides, are abundantly found in the hive.

  • Output SAMS-system: Death of the colony can be detected by the temperature measurement or/ and by sound. Death detection could involve a comparison between real-time colony temperature with the environmental temperature and if the difference is not significant, then it can be concluded that the colony is dead.

  • Recommendations:
    • Take a look into the hive
    • If the colony died: close the hive entrance; hives without bees attract robbing bees from neighbouring colonies (risk of disease-transfer or transfer of toxic substances).
    • Sanitation of the hive (frames and equipment) by cleaning (flame-scarf) and disinfection (bleach, costic soda, similar substances...).


  1. Crane, E. (1990). Bees and beekeeping: science, practice, and world resources. Ithaca, N.Y.: Comstock Pub. Associates.
  2. Stalidzans E., Berzonis A. (2013) Temperature Changes above the Upper Hive Body Reveal the Annual Development Periods of Honey Bee Colonies, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 90, 1–6.