Program details


New to BTS in 2020 this program is a partnership with CSIRO and Backyard Beekeeping Ballarat. Honey bees are important as the food we all enjoy requires pollinators to make it grow, imagine a world without apples or chocolate! Bee's with Backpacks is part of a global initiative and in 2019 with CSIRO we commenced placing "backpacks" on honey bees with Backyard Beekeepers Ballarat in their backyard hive.

The tech backpacks are tiny sensors that record honey bee activity as they enter and exit the hive. Healthy bees are a sign of a healthy agricultural industry and this global project allows us to contribute local data to a global research project by monitoring bees, their movements and the environment.

Honey bees are social insects that return to the same point and operate on a very predictable schedule. Any change in their behaviour indicates a change in their environment. If we can model through the data their movements then we will be able to recognise activity change.

Students take on the role of a data analyst by preparing, exploring, and modelling local bee industry data to contribute to the CSIRO global research project. Students will perform visual data analysis with Tableau a software solution.

The opportunity to work with real world data deepens student's level of inquiry and scientific communication. Learning how to critically evaluate, review and interpret data is an essential skill for students as they progress into their future pathways.

Success criteria

  • Cleanse and prepare data for analysis
  • Explore an industry bee dataset and contribute to a CSIRO Global Research Project
  • Design a visual data model using Tableau
  • Critique the data model, identify limitations, form conclusions and communicate findings