Every beekeeper knows the sound of the hive changes — sometimes dramatically — when you lift the lid off the hive.

The change in sound is obviously a reaction to what is happening to the hive.

But what if the bees made different sounds based on what is going on inside the hive?

Would the bees be able to tell us when they are about to swarm? When they are healthy or when the hive is stressed? The times when varroa is more prevalent than others? When a new queen has hatched?

These are fascinating questions that beekeepers and researchers in Scotland are asking and are trying to find the answers to. They’re using monitoring devices that are about the size of an iPhone to record the sounds inside the hive and relate them to weather conditions, the health of the hive, and the activities that are taking place inside the hive.

This BBC report has more details about the research, plus some audio clips from inside the hive.

Find out what a new queen sounds like when she is ready to rumble.