Colony 1 – Bees not finding their way easily

Reminder: in colony 1 all of the four sampling matrixes are tested. Thus, bees not only have to get used to the pollen traps but also to the Beehold tubes and the corresponding adapter. This might be “overwhelming” for some of the colonies and in a consequence, several messages from worried citizen scientists arrived us during the last week. They all reported similar problems, observed in colony 1: bees have issues to find the right path into their colonies and they congregate in front of the hive entrance; bees show increased aggressive behavior; bees use the drone entrance to get into the hive and some of them were also observed to fly into the neighboring colonies.

Bees cluster in front of the hive entrance

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The very first sampling

Even the first pollen samples and beebread samples will be collected in 1 weeks’ time, we did test the different methods in Denmark already. Just to see.

We need from each colony 30 gram of pollen. No problem.

We need 3 grams of beebread collected via straws. This means that we need to use 60 cells in the colony. This is the most time-consuming part of the sampling.

Introducing the Apistrips and the Beeholdtubes are very easy. No problems for the bees, but as usual, they need to get use to the new situation, but after some moments, everything is like it use to be.

We are looking forward to next weeks “real” sampling.
Flemming Vejsnæs


The 4 apiaries in Denmark

In Denmark we have 4 apiaries. We are lucky that we have a pollen collecting group, all using the same bottom board for pollen collection. That make the test setup a bit easier.
Apiary no 1. This is the beekeeper’s association’s apiary. Colonies do belong to the association, but the colonies are run by a private beekeeper. This apiary is just beside one of our very heavy motorways. Industrial area and medium intensive farming. Polluted area.
Apiary no. 2. At a beekeeper’s place. Medium intensive farming area. Relative intense pig production. Moor area, one of the biggest in Denmark, but still with farming. Polluted area.
Apiary no. 3. Is at a beekeeper’s summerhouse. Big forest area. If we would move the colonies just 1 km it would be an organic apiary. No pollution.
Apiary no. 4. Was mentioned in an earlier blog. At an organic beekeeper’s place and therefore expected no pollution.


A Danish Citizen Scientist

Peter Sjøgren is one of the Danish Citizen Scientist. We did approach Peter since we needed 2 apiaries in you could say more polluted areas and 2 in less polluted areas within the INSIGNIA project. Denmark is a small country with intense farming. Peter is always open minded and open to give his share for improving beekeeping. Peter is one of the very few Danish organic beekeepers. Living north of Copenhagen, where we have the very big forest area of Gribskov. He is just on the corner of the area where it is possibly to become approved as organic beekeeper. We regard this area as a low pollution area. Peter is one of our very innovative beekeepers. Always on the move for explore new within beekeeping. Take a look on his personal homepage: 

Greek INSIGNIA tool box ready

Hello all,

Our tool boxes are ready to be posted  to Citizen Scientists! They have everything, at least for the start. Only towel paper is missing! Note that 2 pollen traps are also included. Unfortunately a third pollen trap did not fit in the box!

Lets start then!

Collecting beebread using a straw, explanations in Greek!

Hello! We tried out the collection of beebread with the use of a normal straw, cut in the midle. As you can see it is easy to collect form 1 cell, but then each one you add it gets more difficult. we think that up to 5 cells is ok and the weight of this bee bread is between 0.3 and 0.45 g.

Therefore, 3 straws can be used to sample 5 cells each, even 6, from each colony.