Soundscape Indices: New Features for Classifying Beehive Audio Samples

Muhammad Zahid Sharif, Fernando Wario, Nayan Di, Renjie Xue, Fanglin Liu


As the study of honey bee health has gained attention in the biology community, researchers have looked for new, non-invasive methods to monitor the health status of the colony. Since the beehive sound alters when the colony is exposed to stressors, analysis of the acoustic response of the colony has been used as a method to identify the type of stressor, whether it is chemical, pest, or disease. So far, two feature sets have been successfully used for this kind of analysis, being these low-level signal features and Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC). Here we propose using soundscape indices, developed initially to delineate acoustic diversity in ecosystems, as an alternative to now used features. In our study, we examine the beehive acoustic response to trichloromethane laced-air and blank air and compare the performance of all three feature sets to discern the colony's sound between the hive being exposed to the chemical and not. Our results show that sound indices overperform the alternative features sets on this task. Based on these findings, we consider sound indices to be a valid set of features for beehive sound analysis and present our results to call the attention of the community on this fact.


Apis mellifera, bioacoustics, low-level signal features, machine learning, trichloromethane, soundscape index

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JCR Impact Factor (2019): 0.690

JCR 5-year Impact Factor (2019): 0.846

Google Scholar h5-index (Insects and Arthropods journals): 12 

Scimago h-index (whole journal circulation period): 37         

Scopus CiteScore (2016-2019): 0.90

Mean time for editorial decision (2020): 78 days

Mean time for article publication (2020): 171 days


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