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  • Remote hive monitor

  • General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #5276  by Patrick
 02 Dec 2019, 08:59
For me the interest would be the correlation between what I see and maybe what the sensors told me.

Operationally, the problem is multiple colonies and variability between hives and often multiple reasons for behaviour - unless you had sensors on all of them. If you could make a link between measurable x and swarming for example, absence of that happening in one hive would not be definitive for others.

I suspect at this stage in their evolution, sensors would be interesting additions to inspections rather than substitutes for them?
 #5280  by AndrewLD
 02 Dec 2019, 10:56
Someone sticks a temperature sensor with a humidity sensor, finds a way to transmit the data using battery power and then sells it as a useful idea. In reality it's a venture to make money through subscriptions. Plus as this is an early start-up will you buy the kit and then find out later they have gone out of business - I'd want something to talk to a program that I have on my computer/phone that doesn't depend on them staying in business.
The problem with this is that it is too simple. Even with those two measurements you have to know the local external humidity and temperature to be much use. If that data just comes from a weather station's measurement x miles away what use is that. So you need a bolt-on package or a second unit outside the hive.
If you could include an acoustic measurement and weight of hive together with humidity and temperatures in and out of the hive that would be different but now I am describing the Arnia system and that costs several hundred dollars.
I am really not convinced that giving people the idea that technology can do it for them is not divorcing beekeepers from their bees, and that cannot be good.
 #5289  by MickBBKA
 03 Dec 2019, 02:17
What are you going to do in Dec, Jan, Feb, with your results...?
 #5290  by Alfred
 03 Dec 2019, 13:13
MickBBKA wrote:
03 Dec 2019, 02:17
What are you going to do in Dec, Jan, Feb, with your results...?
Put them into an excel spreadsheet of course!


God forbid having to leave the house and get your hands amongst those dirty smelly insects.
 #5291  by Japey Edge
 03 Dec 2019, 13:18
It's all just supplementary information isn't it? Yeah bees have done fine all this time on their own for all this time, but in that case why own bees at all and just let them get on with it in the wild?

The tech we're looking at here is only intended to be supplementary - as Andrew mentioned earlier in this thread, being able to know certain variables (temperature, humidity, weight, sound and maybe even have a camera feed in there) is useful and convenient if you can sit in the house and have a think about it. It's just a little bit extra information before you go out and do your inspection or planned manipulation. Anyone using it to save themselves actually keeping the bees is missing the point.

*Slightly off-topic but related to my first paragraph - I don't know how accurate it is but in the intro course we attended at an association nearby they said virtually no honeybee colonies in the UK are wild - they are all kept by beekeepers. I am not convinced of course - swarms and cut-outs are still fairly common so they can't all be in boxes.*
 #5292  by Alfred
 04 Dec 2019, 07:05
Each to their own japey.If this gear was offered free of charge I'd be slightly less cynical but the catalogues are already stuffed with 'stuff' for folk with less sense than cash.
No amount of pondering in front of the discovery channel would remedy some tracksuit bottoms baseball cap wearing guffawing benefit sponger kicking your hives over.
Ive been let down by fantastic tech too often .The environmental controls at my workplace are controlled from abroad-dont get me started on how well that little project is going :cry:
I know I have luddite genes,I'd have mocked the Wright brothers probably too.
However,the way environmental politics is moving it turns out I would have been right all along :o
 #5293  by Patrick
 04 Dec 2019, 08:41
Bees and wild colonies..

Just depends on your definition of wild. Gets a bit wooly at the edges between native species, introduced species recently and from longer ago, and “domesticated” escapees or released. And whether you consider hive bees to be in any way stock or simply “wild” bees you provide a home for. I understand the thinking there but I am not sure it really sticks.

There may be colonies living outside hives for several generations but I would still consider them feral rather than wild. Wild bees you might reasonably expect to form a distinct population and in most places virgins will still mate with hive bee drones.

So it’s probably only semantics but I think of non hive bees in my area as feral rather than wild. Not sure my bees would describe themselves as “domesticated” though! 😁
 #5394  by Japey Edge
 06 Jan 2020, 13:26
So I've made some progress on this, but still have a long way to go.

The image at the bottom of this post shows how it looks so far, and it's pretty messy.
- Arduino Nano is in the left hand crocodile clip
- LoRa board is in the right hand crocodile clip
- Temp/humidity sensor is the white thing just sitting under the magnifying glass

I have connected the arduino to the PC and it gets readings from the sensor - which is great. Next step is getting it to only power from USB and transmit the data through LoRa back to my Raspberry Pi which will have LoRa on also.

Once I know it can do that, I just need to get it to power from battery - probably a single 18650 as they should last long enough.

Then the last part will be fun but tricky - designing and 3D printing a case to house it all in. Not even sure my 3D printer works any more. I have seen someone sit one of these sensors inside a caged-off section of a frame. I think I'd poke the white sensor into the hive but feed the wire through and the rest of the system sitting in a box fixed to the outside of the hive. Or maybe sit it all on top of a crown board and feed the sensor down.

 #5396  by thewoodgatherer
 06 Jan 2020, 19:12
As and Engineer and a fully paid up geek I have build a few microchip projects in the past so I'm pretty familiar with the electronics side of things. Weight monitoring is one thing but I cant see how you could accurately measure either temperature of humidity. For example both are going to vary throughout the hive considerably. One either temperature or humidity sensor is probably going to be a waste of time. I guess if you had 10 thermistors on each frame you could map the temperatures and work out how active the hive is and get some indication of brood brake etc. How are you going to inspect a hive with 100's of imbedded sensors? Your humidity sensor will be propolised within days come the spring.

Sorry to be negative, I would love to do this sort of think but cant see the point. :)
 #5397  by Japey Edge
 06 Jan 2020, 19:47
Interesting take. Remote monitoring is supplementary, I would never intend it to replace beekeeping - so for me it's useful as an indicator, rather than logging precise data.
There are reliable sensors on the market so I see this aspect as the easiest to accomplish. A single sensor near the middle of the colony is going to give a decent indication of what's going on.

Propolis shouldn't be an issue if the placement and casing is thought out. Trial and error will see something good result ;)