Beehive CT videos

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Hive flythrough

This is a flythrough movie of an experimental hive containing a colony of honeybees (Apis mellifera). The movie includes details of honeycomb, honey, larvae, pupae and adult worker bees. The data used to create this movie was produced using X-ray computer tomography.

Standard hive

This is a 3D movie of a standard honeybee hive which was scanned in a human body CT scanner. The movie demonstrates that bees can be isolated (red objects) and identified for counting their numbers. We are developing algorithms to automate the counting process.

Experimental honeybee hive

This is a flythrough movie of an experimental honeybee hive containing the small hive beetle predator (Aethina tumida). The beetles were coated with barium sulfate before entering the hive. Beetles can be seen as white dots throughout the movie to determine their positions.

Australian stingless bees

Australian stingless bees build their nests in logs. This movie demonstrates a rare occurrence. The log contains two separate species of bees, Austroplebeia australis and Trigona carbonaria, inhabiting the same cavity. T. carbonaria have the layered, spiral brood chamber. Although more than one colony often inhabits the same log, this is the first time two separate species have been found in the same cavity. Computer tomography enabled this discovery without the need to destroy the log.

New hive design

New types of hives are being developed for better bee management purposes. This movie takes us through a new design for promoting colony health in stingless bees. The hive is insulated to provide more ideal nesting conditions and some honey pots can be seen in the super chamber above the brood.

Bees fed liquid contrast

This movie shows how bees can be fed liquid contrast which enables them to be tracked using 3D computer tomography. Contrast (bright yellow container) and non-contrast food was placed inside the hive. The resultant images can be viewed later for analyses.

The winter cluster

Inside the hive, honeybee winter clusters form to keep bees warm. It was once thought that these clusters were spherical accumulations. However computer tomography data such as in this video show that winter clusters are usually reverse bell shaped and that bees make the most of the rising heat along the ceiling of the hive to keep warm in winter.