Pollen Grooming

Students in Dr. David Hu's lab have published work on pollen grooming using the Urban Honey Bee Project's honey bees as subjects.  The work was featured in a video produced by the New York Times and the research was published in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics in March 2017.

GIS Survey of Bee-Flower Interactions at Georgia Tech

Students are investigating where bees find food on the Georgia Tech campus using GIS technology. Photos of bee-flower interactions are taken  with GPS-enabled cameras, allowing us to capture date, time, plant species, bee species, and coordinates for each interaction. Students then use this data to generate foraging models. To see some of the photos and a map of the interactions on campus visit:

Remote Sensing of Beehive Activity

GT students are developing integrated technologies that will allow remote sensing of honey production and foraging behavior.  These sensors will include a digital hive scale, temperature and humidity sensors and web cams.  More details (and data) soon!

Genetic Diversity in Urban Honey Bee Colonies

Honey bee colonies with more genetically diverse worker populations are more resitant to disease (Seely and Tarpy, Proc. R. Soc. B, 2007).  We are investigating how urban habitats impact the ability of queens to mate with multiple genetically diverse males and how this impacts disease burden.  To do this study, WE NEED YOUR HELP!  If you are a beekeeper and know the approxomate GPS coordinates of where your queen mated, please send us a sample of workers from your hive.  You don't need to kill bees for this.  Dead bees found on the ground around your hive are fine.  We need controls from rural, forest and surburban habitats in addition to urban bees.  Send the (dead) bees to:  The Georgia Tech Urban Honey Bee Project c/o Jennifer Leavey, 266 4th St. NW, Atlanta, GA, 30332-0900 . 

Science Outreach

Georgia Tech Urban Honey Bee Project volunteers regularly conduct science outreach with K-12 groups and the community.  Some past programs include:  Kids@Kollege, DeKalb County School System High School Biology Program (for high school science teachers), The Georgia Tech Farmer's Market, Georgia Tech Earth day and The Horizons Summer Program.

Potential Projects

GT Honey bees are available to GT science students for research projects. If you are interested in any of the topics below, or have ideas of your own, contact us!

• Biology—pollination, behavioral biology, genetics, ecology

• Chemistry—the chemistry of urban honey (pollutants, etc.), propolis/wax chemistry

• Earth and Atmospheric Sciences—effect of climate on bee populations, foraging behavior, and honey production

• Mathematics—modeling bee behavior or disease dynamics (honey bee pathogens)

• Physics—the physics of flight, honey bee optics, foraging models

• Psychology—organizational psychology

• Computing—analysis of bee motion, robotics

• Interactive computing—real-time hive monitoring

• Aerospace Engineering—bee flight

• Biomedical and Materials Engineering— antimicrobial and structural characteristics of propolis

• Chemical Engineering—honey extraction, processing, analysis

• Electrical Engineering—IR web cams

Industrial Engineering—industrial honey production

• Mechanical Engineering—stand/hive construction, scale-up for developing countries

• Economics—economics of pollination

• Literature and History—communication about the project, cultural history of honey production

• Public Policy—zoning urban beekeeping, bees and sustainability

• Business—marketing and financing urban honey production

• Architecture—hive design and construction

• City planning—GIS of urban areas (forested, bare, weedy, concrete habitats)

And many more!!!

Contact for more information.