Treated Like a Queen

How Thermochrons are helping to monitor bee health

In North Carolina, NC State PhD student, James Withrow, is using Thermochrons to monitor the health of honey bees during transportation.

“Bee dealers sell these packages to beekeepers across the country – usually 10,000-12,000 workers and a queen,” explains James.

“These packages are moved around by truck, so you can imagine that they can be subjected to some pretty harsh conditions sometimes.”

The queen is the most important member of a bee colony. She lays the eggs that ensure the hive’s survival and growth. Without a healthy, fertile queen, the colony will perish.

“We needed to know that  the discomforts of transportation were not causing undue strain on the queen’s health,” said James. “We needed a method of recording conditions across the journey and the Thermochron logger was the obvious choice.”

To see what the queens are actually experiencing during transport, James attaches a Thermochron to the cage of the each queen before it leaves the dealer.

“When we retrieve the data from the loggers, we can see what the package was exposed to, and track that against the health of the queen and the ongoing survival of the colony.”

Thermochron’s small size and legendary durability are the perfect combination for field research projects. They are even water resistant, so exposure to the elements is no problem.

We are happy to work with scientists to recommend the best logger solution.

Thermochron used to record the temperature of the queen's enclosure
Thermochrons were shipped inside the bee packages to monitor the temperatures in the trucks
Scientist James Withrow with tray from bee hive
Scientist James Withrow was responsible for the study