Honey bees are subject to a number of stressors. In recent years, there has been a worldwide decline in the population of these insects. Losses raise a serious concern, because bees have an indispensable role in the food supply of humankind. This work is focused on the method of assessment of honey bee colony infestation by Varroa destructor
. The approach allows to detect several categories of infestation: “Low”, “Medium” and “High”. The method of detection consists of two components: (1) the measurements of beehive air using a gas sensor array and (2) classification, which is based on the measurement data. In this work, we indicate the sensitivity of the bee colony infestation assessment to the timing of measurement data collection. It was observed that the semiconductor gas sensor responses to the atmosphere of a defined beehive, collected during 24 h, displayed temporal variation. We demonstrated that the success rate of the bee colony infestation assessment also altered depending on the time of day when the gas sensor array measurement was done. Moreover, it was found that different times of day were the most favorable to detect the particular infestation category. This result could indicate that the representation of the disease in the beehive air may be confounded during the day, due to some interferences. More studies are needed to explain this fact and determine the best measurement periods. The problem addressed in this work is very important for scheduling the beekeeping practices aimed at Varroa destructor
infestation assessment, using the proposed method.
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