Can RFID Track Bees?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsCan RFID Track Bees?
RFID Journal Staff asked 10 years ago
Can RFID Track Bees?

I am seeking a transponder that can be attached to the body of a bee. I need to be able to read the transponder from a distance of approximately 2 meters (6.6 feet). Any ideas for how this might be accomplished?

—Name withheld

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Unfortunately, I’m afraid this is impossible. The read range of an RFID transponder depends on many factors, one of the most important of which is antenna size. To reduce a transponder to a size that could fit on a bee, you would also need to reduce the size of the antenna, which would greatly reduce read range—probably to no more than a few inches. Researchers have used RFID to track bees (see RFID Helps Scientists Study Honeybees’ Homing Behavior), but the transponders were read from only a short distance away, at the hive’s entrance.

Here are some other stories you might find interesting:


Removing the Sting From Beekeeping


Honeybees Are in Trouble—and RFID Can Help


How Can I Track Insects Via RFID?

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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