Here’s an interesting use for old smartphones: monitoring bee activity. According to research done at the UK’s Nottingham Trent University, it may be possible for smartphones to monitor activity in beehives. Many smartphones have accelerometers built-in making them able to feel the vibrations of the hive. Those vibrations can aid beekeepers detect signs that the old Queen is about to leave the hive. Alerting the beekeeper of this can give them time to setup another home nearby, curbing the swarming phenomenon. Swarming is understood to be the reason many bees are dying in the US.
Once the vibrations are detected, the smartphone can send an SMS to the keeper — as long as there’s service, of course.
Dr Martin Bencsik from Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology said, “The data we have gathered from our investigations is absolutely fascinating. The application of these devices, and the method we have developed for deciphering the information that they gather could provide a key to slowing the dramatic rate of decline in honey bee populations across the world.” This idea could help the honeybee population, unless of course, those rumors of cell phones waves killing the bees is true.