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Bumblebees on Silicon Hill

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Czech version


Goals of project: Live Video from the Bumblebee Nest

The joint project of Students Union of CTU and the local NGO 76/03 ZO CSOP of the Czech Union of Nature Conservation int the Czech Republic.

The aims of the project are:

  1. To test the possibilities of Live video broadcasting over the internet.
  2. To show the Bumblebees from the less known side to the public, to show their behaviour inside their nest.
  3. In sommer months we want to test and arrange microwave wireless connection. We wont broadcast from the nests in the field, oudside the laboratory.
  4. To show the nest of one of the pocked making species..
  5. To promote the possibilities to keep and to observe the bumblebees "on the desktop".

How do we keep the bumblebees

Now you can see the nest of Pyrobombus hypnorum. It is a bumblebee with a short generation period. Its nest die at the beginning of July. This species belongs to aggressive bumblebees, they defend their nests in nature very hard and can often hunt the distractor for a long distance. Our bumblebees are quiet, they didn't attack anyone yet. This species often makes its nest on trees, in various hollows and bird boxes. It belongs to pollen-storers.

The nest, which you can see, was moved from a normal hive to a thermostatic one.

Apart of Pyrobombus hypnorum we have got nests of Bombus terrestris. We will show some of these nests to you when the nest of Pyrobombus hypnorum dies.

All bumblebees are brought from Rožnov pod Radhoštěm, Czech Republic. The bumblebees are bred there by 76/03 ZO ČSOP under the programme "BOMBUS - Learn and protect the bumblebees". An expert guarantor of the programme is RNDr. Miroslav Pavelka.

We feed our bumblebees by pollen and sugar solution. The pollen is inserted directly into the hive, the 50% sugar solution is placed in the watering-cap to the anteroom of the nest.

We keep the bumblebees in dark. They are enlighted by a red bulb so that you can see them. The bumblebees don't see the red light. When they get older, we will try to exchange the red bulb for an ordinary one, which will improve the picture.

More informations about bumblebees breeding

What can you see

According to the position of the camera you can see cells with pupas of bumblebees. They are large and pale. Small irregular cells with a hole in the middle contain larvae. Empty cells, from which the bumblebees already hatched, contain honey.

The picture in some places is disturbed by air holes in the covering glass, dirt on the glass and cable to the thermometer.

You can also watch some types of bumblebee behaviour, such as feeding the larvae. The mother or worker stays without motion for a while and then "pumps" its rear.

More detailed information on bumblebees can be found on the pages of [www.bombus.cz 76/03 ZO ČSOP].


The base of the project is a PC with the following configuration:

  • Intel Celeron 500MHz
  • 128 MB SDRAM
  • 15 GB HDD
  • Sound Blaster 128
  • Card for receiving audio & video signal AVerTV Media

We have used a cam produced by Olympo with lens for taking pictures from short distances.

Whole project is based on a Linux operating system, specifically the RedHat Linux 7.2 distribution. Used web server is Apache and streaming is made by products of RealNetworks named RealSystem Producer Basic and RealSystem Server 8.0. In our case we broadcast 2 streams: 56kbps a 450kbps.

You can download plugin from RealOne.

Should you have any questions about the technical support of the project Cmelaci, please send e-mail.


  • RNDr. Miroslav Pavelka - Professional guarantee of program BOMBUS, Bumble-bee keeper
  • Stanislav Šmejkal - Project controling
  • Libor Seidl - Project co-ordination and feeder
  • Marek Fikrle - Administrator of cmelaci.sh.cvut.cz
  • Petr Hnízdil - Webmaster of cmelaci.sh.cvut.cz
  • Petra Bendová - English version, marketing
  • Ivan Chumchal - Chairman of 76/03 ZO ČSOP

Web pages

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