Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)

Methods and solutions for the development of digital vitality indicators for honey bees: At four locations that differ in their location classification (according to BfN), bee colonies are to be managed and continuously monitored according to good professional practice. At each location, four colonies are equipped with BeeCheck and hive scales to digitally map the seasonal dynamics of colony development. The following is also collected:

Weather (weather station with data logger)
Pollen entry (set up and empty pollen traps / pollen scales, carry out pollen analyzes)
Document the flowering phases (own site inspection)
Nectar input (stick scales)
Remote sensing-based landscape analysis for food availability (drone flights, aerial photo analysis, geodata analysis)
Pathogen load (regular sampling)
Population strength (regular population estimates)

The vitality and resilience of a bee colony can be recognized by how it reacts to disturbances and external stimuli such as the availability of food by changing the activity pattern. Various stimuli are simulated in experiments on the migration of the costume, feeding and stimulation feeding (with different sugar concentrations). With manipulative attempts (catching different numbers of bees) disturbances are simulated. The reaction of the bee colony to stimuli and disturbances should be considered in terms of their duration and intensity. For this purpose, flight activity and speed of passage through the flight hole are recorded with the BeeCheck and the weight of the stick and thus food input or consumption are recorded with the stick carts. The peoples examined should differ in their vitality and resilience. Therefore, peoples with different health status (healthy / Varroa / viruses / Nosema) and different histories (economic people / offshoots / artificial swarms / swarms) should be compared. The results are to be used to identify the vitality indicators, which allow to assess and evaluate patterns in the course of activity. The vitality can be assessed with BeeCheck or truck data alone.

JKI resources and division of labor: the JKI takes on a coordinating role in the project, carries out tests itself and evaluates the data for the purpose of pattern recognition and indicator development. An experienced scientist with the support of a technical employee is planned for the entire duration of the project.

Gero Messsysteme GmbH

Methods and solutions for product optimization: In close interaction with future customers, Gero is developing a market-ready prototype of the BeeCheck and the accompanying program. In addition, it contributes to the data analysis by evaluating the speed at which the bees pass through the entrance hole and adds important parameters to the accompanying software.

Resource requirements Gero GmbH: The interaction with the other project partners, the optimization of the prototype and the data analysis cause considerable personnel expenses. In addition, the provision of BeeCheck prototypes and services result in material and personnel costs.

Testing institute Biochem Agrar GmbH

Methods and solutions for the validation and product development: The test institute ensures the application of the BeeCheck and potentially also the BEEHAVES in practice and can secure a pioneering role in the new technologies. The development of a service under the guidelines and GLP-compliant use of the BeeCheck and a BEEHAVE-containing service is carried out by the testing institute as part of the project. Thanks to its experience in test orders and participation in international ring tests, the test institute can contribute its extensive technical and scientific know-how. The developed products can later be marketed. It is particularly advantageous to work closely with the manufacturer to finalize the BeeCheck prototype in order to ensure that the BeeCheck can later be optimally integrated into the operational processes of the testing institute.

Resource requirements Biochem Agrar GmbH: Technicians are required to carry out the experiment, a scientist is required for product development, the integration of the device into GLP-compliant operating procedures and communication with the manufacturer.

Rifcon GmbH

Methods and solution:

In cooperation with the UFZ, the use of BEEHAVE is being promoted as part of the risk assessment of pesticides. A decisive prerequisite for strengthening the acceptance of models in the risk assessment process is validation, especially when using pesticides. This validation can be carried out on the basis of the data collected in the BeeCheck trials by Biochem Agrar and Eurofins. Based on this, possible applications are sketched, a relevant application scenario is developed and used as a Case-S