Autumn Conference 2019 – Speaker profiles

Autumn Conference 15-17 Nov 2019

Speakers and Lecture profiles


Tom Oliver

Using drones to track bees”

Insect telemetry involves the use of tracking technology to understand invertebrate movement and behaviour. Current techniques either rely on a battery powered tag which may impact the flight behaviour of the insect, or a lighter, passive tag used in tandem with a harmonic radar dish which has a tracking range of approximately 500m but is costly.  Here we show how a piezoelectric tag used in conjunction with an antennae array carried by a drone can be used to track bees at a landscape scale. Through the use of the drone, it becomes possible to track bees over much greater distances compared to existing tracking techniques at a fraction of the cost. We present preliminary results using a prototype of the antennae array to track bees exposed to pesticides and discuss the wider applications of using drones in insect telemetry.