swarm sound detector
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  1. #1
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    Default swarm sound detector

    I have read several articles about detecting swarming activity using an "apidictor". I want to experiment with this idea and see how well it works. Anyone know of a good sound meter that displays in hertz?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    There are plans for an apidictor in the Build-It-Yourself section.

    https://www.beesource.com/build-it-yourself/apidictor/
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #3
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    Jun 2011
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    Boone County, IN, USA
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    Might there not be some app out there which will enable you to use your phone?

  5. #4
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    there are a few for phones but im not sure how well they work..might try them anyway to see how they work tho

  6. #5
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    There is a new generation of sound level meters that do spectral analysis (display Hz graphically), which would make fine apidictors. You probably don't want to spend that kind of money. I rented one a few years back because my major corporation couldn't afford one.

    I have seen smart phone aps that do FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) spectrum analysis. I know i-phones have aps available.

    I've been playing around with a Sony pocket recorder and a script I use in a math package called Octave (poor man's MatLab). I could provide the script if you are a geek and willing to get into more math than most beeks.

    A friend of mine and I are cobbing together some circuit boards for a hive instrument package. I was going to put an audio amp and microphone jack on it and run the signal to a computer board. He thinks he can put a computer right on the board in the hive, giving apidiction capability for some trivially low cost. The processor costs maybe $2. My thought is to monitor the low frequency sounds automatically.

    There's an apidictor archive buried here (link below) that describes the idea. One thing my version won't do may be the easiest for you to try. Smack the hive and listen for a hiss. Learning to distinguish the different kinds of hiss is supposed to tell you what the hive is planning. You are supposed to be able to predict swarms about 20 days in advance. To automate that I'd need to automate slapping the hive.

    https://www.beesource.com/build-it-yourself/apidictor/

  7. #6
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    Although if you're made of money, and want a really fine instrument, look at the ones on the top of this link that say they do FFT:

    http://www.bksv.com/Products/handhel...l-meters.aspx?

  8. #7
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    Auckland, New Zealand
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    Quote Originally Posted by BooneCtyBeek View Post
    Might there not be some app out there which will enable you to use your phone?
    There is an app, its call "Swarmy". Not sure if the author is still working on it, we interviewed him on our podcast in June last year. It might worth to getting in touch with him, I believe it runs on IOS (ie. Apple devices)

    The interview is here:-
    James Moore talks about his bees and the Swarmy Application

    Its an interesting topic and wonder if some kind of swarm alert device can be built, that sends you an SMS message when a swarm is about to happen.
    Gary Fawcett
    We blog and Podcast about beekeeping at http://kiwimana.co.nz

  9. #8
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    im actually going to try a similar experiment to what your doing Phoebee but im going to be using decibels as my units of measurement, it keeps it cheaper. decibel readers are in stores for $20 or on apps.
    aside from smacking the hive and making the bees mad, i am going to try your advise.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    Simple sound level meters that just read dB don't distinguish frequency. That's just sound pressure. The fancy ones do dB at specific frequencies.

    But with modern electronics, it should not require an instrument of several thousand dollars to do this. The electronics required are an analog to digital converter and a single chip computer. These days that's maybe $5 in parts. Toss in a cheap microphone and some sort of display for the spectrum, it should be possible to make one for $20. Let us know if you find one.

    Smart phones have the stuff to do it. My dumb-as-a-stump Tracfone, not so much.

    As for smacking the hives, read that article and whatever else you can find. I'm looking forward to trying it. I think you might find a YouTube video or two demonstrating it. They are supposed to calm down in 20 seconds or so, and IIRC if they calm down really fast, they're packing to leave.

    My hope is that taking good data automatically and looking for the relative peak height of the low frequency wing buzz (particularly changes around 240 Hz) will be enough. No slap required. I've run some bee recordings and can definitely distinguish the peaks, but it will take some experience to prove anything useful.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    im actually a bit of a techy and am going to build a set up to measure the sounds(good tip on the dB not working) i will have to change my reader idea but the rest i already have. I am going to try the slapping and see if i can get the hang of that.

    im in florida so my results for the frequency of the hive might be slightly different, due to the hot temperature and high humidity means the workers flap their wings to help cool down the hive and lower the humidity. i keep my hives in shaded areas so temp and humidity isnt a problem but it still might factor in.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    You might be able to find something that does the job for $20-40 ... I just have not seen one. Clearly I think it is possible to build one. There are a lot of tools for music out there like tuners and acoustic analyzers that are not all that far off.

    Octave is free under the GNU license, and a version is available for Windows. It has all the needed functions built in, and you're welcome to the short (and rough) script I have so far. Octave/Matlab scripts look a little like the C programming language, but the hairy-bear math has all been worked out so you can do advanced stuff without a PhD in applied mathematics.

    I'm itching to try all this for myself. So far I've only been able to try recordings of other people's bees. We've been assured our nucs will be ready in "mid to late April". Supposedly they meant THIS year. (Looks forlornly at calendar.)

  13. #12
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    I was actually looking at tuner apps and such last night thinking that it might work to a degree(not as accurate as sound meters but close-ish)

    i'll look into the Octave, i prefer to avoid extreme mathematics if at all possible.

    i know what you mean. My new packages are gonna be her Thursday, THIS Thursday and i am going to be using them as my primary test hive.
    how many nucs did you order?

  14. #13
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    Quote Originally Posted by critterkeeper View Post
    i know what you mean. My new packages are gonna be her Thursday, THIS Thursday and i am going to be using them as my primary test hive.
    how many nucs did you order?
    Just two. We bought enough woodenware for three. We'll be in rain thru Thursday so I guess it is best not to pick them up right now.

  15. #14
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    Feb 2014
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    jaxsonville, fl
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    yea its been pouring since 3pm and looks like its going to keep pouring.....
    i ordered one package of bees and its coming in the mail but not sure how they will like being installed with the conditions as they are..
    advice?

  16. #15
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    A large umbrella? I'm not the guy to ask. There was a thread on this a couple of days back. Somebody, maybe Michael Bush, mentioned that a lot of people spray bees with syrup to keep them from flying, and get away with it. Temperature may be the bigger factor. But read the thread and don't take my advice because its (woosh) over my head.

    If I get the call that the nucs are ready, I know I'll be looking this up.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    ill look into the thread

    i was actually thinking about setting up one of those beach tent top shelters above the hive and the area around it to keep it dry until the rain stops.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    Found it. Hope I don't need to do this but apparently it can work.

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...t=package+rain

  19. #18
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    Default Re: swarm sound detector

    thats all pretty good advise Phoebee. i might try leaving the package in with them for 24 hours and letting them get out on their own....but my luck would be that they like their package and stay in it....

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