We are grateful to the 45 beekeepers who volunteered to take part in Thriving Hive between June and October 2021.
The 45 apiaries selected were located in the Midlands to reduce variation in climatic variables as much as possible. View the locations on project map. The apiaries included sites that were predicted to be in areas of high and low particulate deposition in rural, suburban and urban areas.
We used 15 ThinkAir air quality sensors to record particulate matter (PM 1, PM 2.5 and PM 10), as well as humidity and temperature at hourly intervals. Five of the apiaries were selected as sentinel sites to provide continuous data over the 12 week sampling period to enable us to monitor temporal fluctuations. The remaining sites were divided into four blocks, which were each monitored for 3 weeks within the 12 week sampling period.
The 45 volunteer beekeepers completed a survey about their management practices and honeybee health and productivity, and collected samples of nurse bees, forager bees, honey, pollen and wax. In total we have collected 1200 samples of bees, 60 samples of wax and pollen, and 60 samples of honey. Read about how we are analysing these samples in our next blog post.