With the help of a surprisingly simple technical solution, individual queens will soon be labelled with a unique code.
In a project initiated by Eugen Aberer and supported by Biene Österreich, queen tags are currently developed, on which a tiny matrix code (‘queen code’), similar to a QR-code, is imprinted. QR codes are two-dimensional barcode we encounter every day on food packaging or advertising brochures.
With this queen code, which can be linked to the herdbook number of a queen, beekeepers may retrieve pedigree information and performance data of the queen using a smartphone with an Android operating system and a camera (resolution: 8 MPx, at lower resolutions, an additional macro lens is required).
By holding the camera over the tag, the queen code will be read by a specially designed software and the information on the queen will be retrieved via the internet. This tool will allow a better identification of queens in the breeding program, but also buyers will be able to trace the identity of the queen they have received.