The BeeGym in action
This film shows how the bees get used to the flippers, and start to develop their more advanced scratching techniques. It was filmed in August 2013 using Bee Gym mk10.
This film is an edited version of a five minute shot where a honey bee tries to scratch a Varroa mite on its abdomen. It seems that the bee's tarsal claws cannot reach the area where the mite is attached, the bee looks too weak to help itself. Observations of this kind of behaviour helped with the thinking behind the Bee Gym.
Making a prototype Bee Gym using a silicone mould; when the frame is dry the flippers and flexible blades are added on.
Filmed in 2012 using Bee Gym versions 2, 3 and 4 this film shows bees using the parallel strings feature of the Gym. A bee with a Varroa mite on its abdomen can hold on to the strings and use the top or bottom string to dislodge or injure the mite.
Filmed in 2012 using versions 2 and 3. Here we see the early versions of the flippers, which were made from small groups of bristles. These gyms were the first to make a noticeable impact on the natural mite drop recordings.
Bee Gym number 2 was a framework supporting twelve brushes. The bees used the brushes a lot, however they weren’t very effective in helping to remove mites. This version of the gym was useful because activity, which would have been on the combs, was here on the framework for me to observe.