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New and Improved Methods for Monitoring Air Quality and the Terrestrial Environment.
Annual rept. 15 May 95-13 Oct 96,
MONTANA UNIV MISSOULA
Pagination or Media Count:
Honey bees Apis mellifera L. have been shown to be multi-media monitors of chemical exposures and biotic effects. However, most methods of measuring honey bee colony population dynamics have been time-intensive and subject to observer error. This four-year project has developed an automated system to assess continuously in real-time colony flight activity, temperature and relative humidity in the brood nest, total hive biomass, pollen collected, and a full spectrum of ambient weather information. Pollen, dead bees removed by housekeeping bees, and the chemical composition of the air inside the hive can be sampled daily. Field applications are ongoing at the Aberdeen Proving Ground- Edgewood area, where 21 electronic beehives have monitored three sites. These studies also address the applicability of artificial neural networks to quickly decipher patterns of bee behavior and to fingerprint hive chemistry. The primary intent of this project is to improve the ability to monitor stressors, both natural and anthropogenic. Preliminary results indicate that colonies respond to some environmental factors in less than two minutes.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE