Electronic devices to sense, store, and transmit data are undergoing rapid development, offering an ever-expanding toolbox for inventive minds. In apiculture, both researchers and practitioners have welcomed the opportunity to equip beehives with a variety of sensors to monitor hive weight, temperature, forager traffic and more, resulting in huge amounts of accumulated data. The problem remains how to distil biological meaning out of these data. In this paper, we address the analysis of beehive weight monitored at a 15-min resolution over several months. Inspired by an overlooked, classic study on such weight curves we derive algorithms and statistical procedures to allow biological interpretation of the data. Our primary finding was that an early morning dip in the weight curve (‘Breakfast Canyon’) could be extracted from the data to provide information on bee colony performance in terms of foraging effort. We include the data sets used in this study, together with R scripts that will allow other researchers to replicate or refine our method.
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