Citizen Science Project Helps Protect  African Honeybees

African Honeybee foraging on Impatiens flowers. Photo taken by beekeeper from Burahya, Kibale National Park, Uganda .
In a Citizen Science Project funded by the National Geographic Society,  Kasiisi Project staff are partnering with 7 groups of farmer/beekeepers around Kibale National Park to monitor the health of the wild African Honeybees colonizing 15 apiaries by assessing a colonies ability to maintain constant hive temperature and humidity.

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Map of participating Beekeeper Groups
Broodminder devices that measure temperature and humidity have been placed inside the brood chambers of 30 hives where they record data every hour. Beekeepers have download over 700,000 data points onto smart phones and the information is then uploaded to Beecounted.org  a cloud based public access site that shares  data internationally. Potential forage plants are identified by uploading photos of flowering plants around the apiaries to another open access site,  iNaturalist( www.iNaturalist.org). By identifying pollen grains  in the honey and by  analyzing honey DNA we can tell which plants the bees are foraging from. Our long-term goal is to set a baseline of bee health against which  the impact of environmental factors, such as climate change and pesticide use, can be determined on colony survival and honey production ​

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Broodminder device buried in a brood chamber

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Hive temperature and humidity readings downloaded to a smartphone