This experiment is part of the Bees Challenge Grant. Browse more projects

Hacked clocks tell us how an important pollinator keeps time in changing world.

Raised of $2,000 Goal
Funded on 12/08/16
Successfully Funded
  • $2,027
  • 101%
  • Funded
    on 12/08/16



Brood cells made by "mom" bee, with developing bees inside. They will be loaded into 3D printed racks until adults emerge.

Bees push the red ball into the metal bb, freeing it to roll down a runway.

When bees emerge, they push a metal bb forward and it rolls down the blue runway into a sensor. 

The brain of the system is the "clock", keeping track of bee emergence by recording the exact date and time they emerge.


Some of the challenges we face are getting more complex "clocks" to run because of the intricacy of the build. However, we have a strong collaboration with knowledgeable hackers of Arduino builds and programming to help us troubleshoot any problems we run into.  

Pre Analysis Plan

We will test many hypotheses related to how bees sense changes in the environment. We have data to suggest that the environment is interacting with circadian rhythm system (rather than a general response of the bee). Aspects of the environment we are interested in are temperature fluctuations and day length. Because we are dealing with 1000+ bees in an experiment, we would like to analyze the variance of the emerging population. Since this is a more complicated statistical analysis, we are seeking statistic consultation from a university employee through information and technology services. 


This project has not yet shared any protocols.