EAST LANSING, Mich. — Want to know what is happening with the honey bees on Michigan State University’s campus? “BeeTV” is now broadcasting live from the greenroof of Bailey Hall!
Thanks to the MSU Department of Entomology who funded the purchase of the live-streaming bee cam and an Arnia hive scale and monitoring system, we can now capture data and video of the two colonies that live at the Bailey Urban Farm. This technology brings the activity of the rooftop honey bee hives onto computer screens across the country, maximizing educational opportunities and engaging community members in campus outreach.
How did we get bees on the greenroof of Bailey Hall? In 2015, the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE), working with the MSU Entomology Department and Residential Education and Housing Services, added two honey bee hives to the Bailey residence hall green roof. Through generous funding provided by the Be Spartan Green Student Project Fund, students on the Bailey Bee Team have the opportunity to learn about beekeeping and educate their peers about pollinator health.
Now with the monitoring equipment, MSU students and community members can check on the bees’ activity level without having to physically be on campus. Viewers can watch routine care for the bees and see how weather affects forage activity. The Arnia hive scales collect information on weight change of the two colonies, temperature and weather, and bee activity level. You can also view our hive scale data to see fluctuations in hive weight throughout the season.
Special thanks to project leaders Sarah Scott, Kyle Rettenmaier and Meghan Milbrath for supporting the Bailey Bee Team and the rooftop hives at Bailey through this new initiative.
Stay tuned for future opportunities to learn more about the Bailey Bees by following them on Twitter @MSUBaileyBees or connect with the student-run business (in charge of selling honey) at @landgrantgoods.
— Michigan State University
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