The Jotbook

BorderVet Animal Services is holding a Rabies Clinic in Reston on Wednesday, June 5 at the Municipal Shed from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m.

 Be Aware Project

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The queen bee is a vital part of any hive; without her, the colony won’t survive. If worker bees and drones can’t find their queen, they will fan their wings to move air around the hive, hoping to find her scent. In the process, they create more noise than a hive that has its queen.

 That’s just one of the signals for bees and beekeepers that Assiniboine students Adam Lennox and Kent Collins are trying to capture with their Bee Aware project.

 Bee Aware was the capstone project for the pair as they recently completed their second year of Communications Engineering Technology at Assiniboine Community College.

 Lennox and Collins have designed a wireless sensor network to be installed inside bee hives, providing instant feedback to beekeepers.

 The students are collaborating with 4K Honey, a producer located about 80 kilometres southeast of Brandon. Collins knows two of the owners, inspiring him to try to help them out.

  Bees don’t hibernate, but must stay inside the hive during winter to keep warm enough to survive.

 “I know last year, they had cows knock over some of their hives. It was the end of the year. It was cold out, so they all died. Basically, the bees would leave the cluster, make it about 10 feet and die. If the beekeepers could have got there earlier, maybe they could have saved them,” Collins said.

 One of the sensors used is an accelerometer that can detect movement in any direction as well as any vibrations.

 If everything in the hive is humming along routinely, the sensors report the status of the hives to the beekeepers twice a day.

 If the data collected indicates the possibility of an urgent event, then a notification is sent to the beekeeper immediately. These events could be the death of a queen bee, a cow knocking over a hive or someone trying to steal the hive.

 Another sensor uses a laser beam to be able to tell when bees are leaving the hive and when they return.
 “At different times of the season, the bees will get different flowers. They’ll take clover, then they’ll take canola, then they’ll take buckwheat. They’ll leave the hive at different times,” Collins said.

 “What I want to do is log the times when they leave and the times when they come back. How long is their day? Does it get shorter with the sunlight? Do they care about sunlight? Or do they just do it until they’re done?” he asked.

 Collecting this information will allow the beekeepers to apply data analytics to improve operations and increase yields and profits.

 Collins is designing the sensors, while Lennox is designing the network that will deliver the sensor information to the beekeepers by email or text on their computers or smartphones.

Just for Laughs

 A German Shepherd, a Doberman, and a cat died.

 In heaven, all three faced God, who wanted to know what they believed in. The German Sherperd said, “I believe in discipline, training, and loyalty to my master.” “Good!” said God. “Sit at my right side.”

“Doberman, what do you believe in?” asked God. The Doberman answered, “I believe in the love, care, and protection of my master.” “Aha,” said God. You may sit to my left.”

 Then God look at the cat and asked, “And what do you believe in?” The cat replied, “I believe you are sitting in my seat.”

© Reston Recorder