Journal of Apicultural Science

Attempt to use sounds in commercial beekeeping

Journal of Apicultural Science. Volume 46, Issue 1, Pages 67-74, ISSN (Print) 1643-4439
The study was performed in the beekeeping seasons of 1996 and 1997 in a resident apiary of the Apiculture Division in Puławy. The colonies were raised in Danant beehives. The objective of the study was to develop a simple method which would allow the beekeepers to retain the bees on the combs and to prevent them from leaving the nest. Attempts were also made to establish whether exposing the colonies to sounds affects pollen foraging.
The sounds of 120 Hz, 450 Hz and 800 Hz frequency were emitted through 3 loudspeakers of the maximum output of 80 W each. The sounds were emitted as a rectangular wave in alternating cycles of 2 sec of sound and 2 sec of silence. The loudspeaker was placed either on the inner cover or on the inner cover and on the walls.
It was found that exposing the bees to an 800 Hz sound was effective in the immobilization of the majority of individuals on the combs which allowed the inspection of the colonies without resorting to the use of a smoker. It was also demonstrated that a sound of that frequency is effective in preventing the bees from taking foraging flights without at the same time irritating them. Arguably, the method can be recommended to prevent the bees from leaving the beehive during pesticide sprays as seventeen hours after the exposure to sounds was completed there was no difference in the amount of gathered pollen between sound-exposed and control colonies.
honeybee colony, sounds, bee behaviour
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