Maybe some of you have heard about Ed Woods? He discovered that the sound of a hive depends on the situation it is in. If the hive is about to swarm, it gives another sound than if it is not about to swarm. Quite fascinating. Read more about Ed Wood's discoveris in "Listen to the bees" by Rex Boys:http://beedata.com/data2/listen/listenbees.htm
Ed Weiss made a electronic analyzer called an ApiDictor. It is now a long time since it has been sold, but the topic is not dead. On http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BeeGadgets/
it have been some discussion about re-making of the old apidictor, and in that occasion a man from sweden made a program for the computer for analyzing the hives (it is free and available at the site, though in sweedish - haven't tried it myself though). The problem is that you have to carry a laptop to the hives, or recording at the hives for later analyzis at home. But, anayway, here is a link to the site (unfortunatly in swedish and I couldn't find an online translator):http://www.quicknet.se/home/q-119076/BONUS/spectra.html
This page shows the program in action:http://www.quicknet.se/home/q-119076/BONUS/bta.html
- The top left screenshot shows a hive with no swarming tendencies.
- The top right shows a hive one week before swarming
- Bottom left shows the hive after swarming
- Bottom right shows a hive with a newly catched and hived swarm.
To record easily, he suggest to get a tennis ball, cut it in two, and put the microphone in the half. To record, just press the half tennis ball with the mic against the hive wall.
When I get some hives myself, I certainly with play with a microphone and a recorder and a this or a similar tool :)