Autumn Conference 15-17 Nov 2019
Speakers and Lecture profiles
“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.