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RFID tagged queen

she's in there somewhere!
  [vote for,

Beekeepers label queens with colored tags according to the year they hatched and were placed in each hive. Large apiaries may contain hundreds of hives, each with its own queen.

During inspections, it can be hard to distinguish the queen from the thousands of workers crawling over frames. Even with a much larger abdomen and colored tag, the thousands of bustling bees conceal queens for most beekeepers.

RFID tags are now small enough to be placed on ants, as some studies have tracked ants through colonies. Tagging quees with micro-RFID tags could offer to both track the queen's location and record information such as birth year, strain, and source.

squirrelecule, Aug 10 2010

RFID tags http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rfid
[squirrelecule, Aug 10 2010]

Ants' home search habit uncovered http://news.bbc.co....bristol/8011998.stm
[squirrelecule, Aug 10 2010]

Queen bee color system http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_bee
[squirrelecule, Aug 10 2010]


       Can you explain how RFID would pick out the queen from among a lot of other bees? You could wave your antenna at a mass of bees, & hear a beep, indicating that she's in there somewhere (that seems to be how the technology was used in the linked ant experiment). Or, if you could induce your bees to pass by the antenna one by one, in single file, you'd hear a beep when the queen passed, and could nab her. But does RFID have the sort of pinpoint directionality you need?   

       Assuming it does, you still need some visual indicator. I suggest a laser pointer, which flashes only when pointed directly at the queen. You'd scan it across the frame (or it would scan itself, with a mirror galvanometer) and one bee would appear to flash bright red or green.
mouseposture, Aug 10 2010

       RFID could be used to partially home in on the queen by measuring the radio strength. Then you could use an induction powered LED to make her flash.
Aq_Bi, Aug 10 2010

       I wonder if some triangulation arrangement could find her.
RayfordSteele, Aug 10 2010

       The RFID reade/writer would also have a directional antenna, useful for locating at least the frame where the queen is hiding. If the beekeeper can narrow their search down to at least a frame, it's much easier than rummaging through the entire hive.   

       I imagine they might start by scanning the entire hive, narrowing it down to a single box, and then scanning that box more carefully to find queenie.
squirrelecule, Aug 10 2010

       //If the beekeeper can narrow their search down to at least a frame, it's much easier // OK, [+]
mouseposture, Aug 10 2010

       Maybe a magnet could be placed on the queen. She could then be extracted magnetically.
bungston, Aug 11 2010


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