The Hive Project


Visual Communication

I have heard that Italian bees are more prone to “drift” than others and can benefit from additional visual cues for their individual hives. To help them in their first few weeks in the apiary, I drew unique shapes near the entrance on each reducer, in essence giving each hive a unique address. Ideally this will help the bees recognize which of three hives they should return to.

Like humans, bees are trichromatic-their eyes have three different color receptors for viewing a wide range of colors. But we see things quite differently.

It is highly unlikely that our bees see much different between the Red and black shapes, as their visual perception does not extend much beyond green. It does, however, cover the ultraviolet range. The bees are much more likely to rely on the shape coding of each hive.

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