Bees counter

Bees counter

The bees counter

 In order to better study and understand the bee in its natural environment, modern devices have had to be developed, in particular this new innovative system of bee counting in real time and in natural conditions.
He is able not only to count all the unmarked bees of the colony, and thus to have the overall activity of the hive, but also an individual count of bee thanks to a two-dimensional barcode glued on his thorax, and Thus knowing its life of forager (date of first exit of the hive, number of flights, flight time, lifetime ... ..)
For this purpose, cameras placed at the entrance of the beehive, and coupled to a software specifically developed for this application, automatically detect the passage of bees, and count their inputs and outputs.
The cameras display the image from the cameras live on the computer screen to view the various detection and counting data as well as charts of the flight activity to monitor the operation of the camera. 'together.
For this system of optical counter three patents have been deposited by the INRA, and an environmental monitoring counter "Apialerte:" is marketed by Apilab. It allows industrialists or beekeepers to follow in real time on their smartphone or internet, the activity of foraging their hive, and to be informed of an abnormal activity of the colony, such as the mortality of foragers.
It was also voted Best Innovation at the World BeekeepingAwards 2013.





  1. Alaux C.*, Crauser D.*, Pioz M., Saulnier C., Le Conte Y. (2014) Parasitic and immune-modulation of flight activity in honey bees tracked with optical counters. Journal of Experimental Biology, 217 : 3416-3424. * equally contributed
  2. Dussaubat, C., A. Maisonnasse, et al. (2013). "Flight behavior and pheromone changes associated to Nosema ceranae infection of honey bee workers (Apis mellifera) in field conditions." Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 113(1): 42 - 51.


 Didier Crauser

Technician Research


Modification date : 20 June 2023 | Publication date : 27 January 2015 | Redactor : D Beslay