Skip to main content
Ongoing project

Best practices for evaluation of bee health technology (PH22003)

Key research provider: Macquarie University

What's it all about?

This investment is evaluating a range of sensor-based tools for bee health monitoring so that recommendations can be made to beekeepers on available options to improve awareness of their hive health.

Evaluating the health of bee colonies is crucial to predict pollination efficiency and prevent colony losses. Traditional methods beekeepers rely on are highly labour-intensive and demand opening hives and disturbing the bees. 

A range of sensor-based tools have come onto the market promising different types of data on bee hives, such as weight and internal temperature. These tools need to be tested to understand the quality of the data they collect and what the data can show about hive health.

The research team will:

  1. Consult with growers and beekeepers to identify priority bee health-related areas of concern that could be addressed with sensor-based tools.
  2. Review technologies for colony health monitoring through global review and analysis of the current market.
  3. Shortlist and field test technologies to produce a ranked list of candidate tools.
  4. Develop protocols for growers and beekeepers to use and evaluate technologies.
  5. Develop and undertake a cost-benefit analysis for tested technologies and produce a report incorporating a user-friendly rating mechanism.
  6. Demonstrate technologies to beekeepers and growers through various demonstration events and workshops.