B-GOOD's progress: part 3 (accelerometers, gas sensors, bee counter, LFDs, virus detection & TaqMan Assay)
In the third part of the progress video series, Prof. Dirk de Graaf presents other innovative tools which B-GOOD has developed to further expand the data collection in the final years of the project. For example, the placing of accelerometers in 3 mini apiaries which constantly measured the vibrations on the combs.
In addition, the researchers at B-GOOD have found a way to measure gas composition inside the hive. They embedded suitable gas sensors in the wax foundations for measurements. Another thing is that the researchers want to especially monitor the temperature of the combs, for which they have installed temperature sensors.
Another objective of B-GOOD is to estimate the colonies' activities by measuring the number of bees going in and out of the hive. To do so, scientists have focused on developing certain bee counters. They not only monitor the numbers of bees, but can also distinguish between castes and whether workers are loaded with pollen clumps or not.
Honey bee health is also threatened by the use of pesticides. To help detect these chemicals in the field, B-GOOD is working on the development of a quick and easy-to-use field tool. Researchers have developed an analog test for detecting neonicotinoids. With a 90% accuracy rate, this type of rapid detection strip can effectively control the application of neonicotinoids in agricultural production, which is of tremendous significance to improving the agricultural ecological environment, protecting public health and promoting the sustainable development of agriculture.
Prof. Dirk de Graaf concludes with the latest innovative tool which is a TaqMan genotyping assay. B-GOOD has now developed a lab test to detect each point mutation in the genome faster and cheaper in a population. TaqMan allows to check whether the protective point mutations occur in a colony and what the impact is on the health of the colony. This will help beekeepers and bee breeders select the best honey bee stocks and reduce the number of treatments they need to help their bees survive varroa.
Watch the full video to find out more about our process of data collection and how B-GOOD expands the knowledge on beekeeping practice.