Can a Drone be Effective in Locating Swarms?
Ask the Expert!
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Ron Lofthouse asks:
Could a drone be effective in locating swarms?
Rusty Burlew replies:
I assume you are asking about a man-made drone, not a male honey bee. A male honey bee would be useless in that line of work!
It’s hard to say if a man-made drone could help you find a swarm. If the drone carried a regular camera, it might be difficult to see a swarm that was tucked under the leaves of a tree or hanging on a fence post. From above, both the canopy and the background would interfere with a clear image. I suppose success might depend on how good the camera was and how far from the ground the drone was flying.
An infrared camera could be used in the drone, but it would detect all kinds of hot spots in addition to swarms. I imagine it would record cats, dogs, rabbits, raccoons, owls — anything living, breathing, and giving off heat. Distinguishing one from another might be difficult. Also, IR cameras are hard to use in daylight hours or on warm days. The greater the spread in temperature between the thing you are seeking and its immediate environment, the better the image.
I’m not trying to discourage you, however. You should give it a try. You may be onto the next big thing.