Predictive modelling of honey bee foraging activity using local weather conditions

Dominic Clarke*, Daniel Robert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)
447 Downloads (Pure)


We investigated the connection between foraging activity of honey bees (Apis mellifera) and local weather conditions. We measured bee egress rate along with temperature, solar radiation, atmospheric pressure, humidity, rainfall, wind direction and speed. Data was collected from two hives, over the periods June–September 2013 (hive 1) and July–September 2014 (hive 2). We fitted an ordinary-least-squares generalised linear model to the data, using weather to predict bee egress rate. We found that 78% of the observed variation in bee activity was explained by variation in temperature and solar radiation. We discuss the potential application of this approach for continuous, remote monitoring of honey bee colonies with possible implications for early detection and prevention of hive abandonment disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-396
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Early online date28 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • automation
  • bees
  • foraging
  • monitoring
  • weather


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