Bees supervised

The Last few years the term "Internet of Things" (Internet of Things, IoT) is gaining popularity. Technology is seen as one of the engines of progress and economic development in the coming years. It would Seem that the term IoT was born in 1999. Why is this excitement after 20 years?

The Secret is that in recent years the cost of deploying individual components of IoT has decreased significantly. Just a few years ago, it was very costly to introduce these technologies and not all companies could afford such investments. The Payback is ambiguous. Now, the same solutions have become more accessible and move from the category of exotics into a quite ordinary working tool.

Clever Hive (Smart Hive)

In the Autumn of 2018, when visiting friends in Bulgaria, watched an interesting way to organize Pasek.

Paseka in Bulgaria.

It is Interesting to choose the location of hives and the organization of the Passeka. In the forest, without any fence or guard on a solid metal frame placed neat typical hive. For comparison the usual apiary in Bulgaria looks quite habitual.

The Usual apiary in Bulgaria.

At that time did not grasp the idea of placing hives on a metal frame. Yes, soundly done, aesthetically pleasing, beautiful, but seemingly nothing outstanding.

After some time in another place saw a truck with a crane loader to which was trailed this steel frame with hives, but already mounted on a wheeled chassis. Everything is in place. It was in September. Probably, the hives were transported to the wintering, and closer to the season they will be taken to the fields again.

He Looked at the organization of Pasek in Europe/USA and came across interesting developments in the Internet of things used by beekeepers to simplify the content of colonies of bees. Since I have been dealing with automation for more than 20 years, the organization of observing bees is an interesting direction.

Environmentalists are concerned about the sharp decline in the number of bees that began in 2006. The Phenomenon of CCD (Colony destruction Syndrome) leads to the disintegration of millions of bee colonies, with the reason still not established.

Beekeepers, together with scientists and public organizations abroad, use innovative technologies to understand the cause of death of colonies of bees and reduce the risks of such problems.

Measurement of Hive Mass

What do the companies and enthusiasts of bee-keepers offer? The Most widespread and complex tool-scales for online weighing of hive. It is installed on them and the system allows you to monitor the dynamics of change of its mass daily. On the Internet There are drawings with detailed description of how to make such "bee" scales.

Inexpensive strain gauges are used most Often. In China, they cost about a dollar apiece. They can be bought together with inexpensive high-precision analog-to-digital converter (ADC) for data removal by inexpensive microcontrollers. Strain gauges with ADC can be extracted from ordinary household weights.

The Cost of microcontrollers used in such projects varies from 1 to 5 US dollars. The type Selection is determined by the size of the apiary and the number of sensors that "around" each hive.

At Tenzozchikov There is a big disadvantage-they are not calculated on constant (static) loading in the form of a hive in the weight in hundred and superfluous kilograms. Usually scales measure A mass doolno time, after that the load from them is removed. Yes, and the environment affects the accuracy of measurements. Such scales should be calibrated periodically, introducing correction coefficients.

The Accuracy of measurements with such weights can be quite acceptable for the task of the beekeeper and calibration can be done, for example, twice a year before and after the season. Given the low cost of strain gauges-this is a good option for online measurement of the mass of hives.

The OpenHiveScale Project has solved the problem of reducing accuracy over time, having developed a rather complex lever scales of special design. They can make online weighing of the hive without a significant deterioration in measurement accuracy. However, the design is not easy and the cost of equipping such weights of all hives in the bee can be high. ALL drawings are publicly available, so you can recreate the design yourself.

Temperature and humidity in the hive

Measurements of the temperature inside the hive are important for predicting colony diseases. Some of the beekeepers added flat heating elements to the hive to raise the temperature in the hive locally.

For bees, such changes in temperature are dangerous in the 50 ° C, but reduce the number of mite Varroa, which affects the colony. Total loss of ticks occurs at a temperature of 47 ° C for 13-14 minutes. As the difference in temperatures is very small, the beekeeper realizing such a way of Dezorrania hive should be extremely careful.

Thermoelements competently placed in a hive together with Thermodatkami and the microcontroller allow to regulate precisely temperature in a hive, selecting conditions for disinfection of bees.

Online measurements of temperature and humidity are easy and inexpensive. Waterproof temperature sensors working on the interface 1-Wire are cheap. Their Price is in the dollar area. When bulk purchases are reduced.

Humidity Sensors often contain in one case and temperature sensors. Unfortunately, they are not hermetic, so the beekeepers use various tricky ways of placing them so that bees do not mould the holes of the moisture sensor wax. This Combo sensor is in the area of one and a half-two dollars.

"Turnstile" for bees

In Some beekeeping projects, a line of tiny sensors reacting to the interruption of the luminous flux is mounted in the bees ' flight. On the same principle works turnstile in the subway. The Letok is made not continuous, and with partitions, so that on the formed tunnel could move only one bees. This approach minimizes the error in the counter operation.

For each such passage two sensors are put one after another to track the direction of movement of a bee: from a hive or in a beehive. A Beekeeper with a high enough accuracy will know how many bees are in the hive at any given time, how many have left and whether they have returned to the night. 🙂

Perhaps This information will seem to someone superfluous, but one of the main principals of the Internet of things-information accumulates on the "cloud" servers and further processed by various algorithms to identify patterns that do not Can be found by conventional surveillance or it may take a very long time.

The more data from different sources, the more likely it is to find hidden patterns in the colony's behavior.


Weather conditions affect the livelihoods of bees, so weather data cannot be ignored.

For the complete analysis and revealing of hidden regularities in behaviour of colonies of bees add the sensors removing the indications of environment at a place of installation of hives: temperature, humidity, pressure, a sensor of a rain, speed and a direction of a wind, vibroatchiki in Seismic regions, etc.

Each such sensor costs from a half dollar to three dollars when buying directly in China. Only one set of sensors per Paeku is sufficient.

Naturally, you can not take readings from the sensors, and use the information from the weather forecast servers, but local devices will provide the analyst-beekeeper more accurate data about the bee environment in their place of residence.

Safety of Bees

If each hive is supplemented with a Vicodin, it can be used not only for measuring earthquakes, but also for tracking malicious actions. As soon as the attacker begins to move the hive, the vibroatchik reacts to such activity. Coupled with the camera reacting to the movement it will add safety to the Passeke.

If the camera is powered by a battery, it makes sense to activate it with a signal from the vibrating sensor, or from the motion detector. The Power consumption of such sensors will be much lower than the constant operation of the camera and its recognition of the movement, respectively, the battery charge is enough for a longer period.

Telemetry Transfer

It is pointless to Capture data and store it if you cannot analyze it quickly. Since the topic of the Internet of things is very popular in the West, there are many "cloud" servers that allow you to collect data and analyze them by statistical methods, or using neural networks, often called artificial Intelligence.

The Beekeeper does not need to invent where to store data, deploy managerfor gather information and invent how to analyze data. Storing data on servers located somewhere on the Internet is often free for sensor data providers if the transmission period is large enough.

For Example, the ThingSpeak project from MathWorks, the developer of the popular MatLab data package, provides space on its "cloud" servers for free if the data transfer interval is more than a certain value, for example, not more often than Every five minutes. In the case of data from hives in this limit will be easy-there is no point to pass information often.

Data analysis Tools are constantly being improved by companies and enthusiasts, making it easier to work with them. They become more friendly for people who do not have deep knowledge of mathematical methods of data analysis.

The Internet has a lot of specialized projects created by beekeepers or for beekeepers. They accumulate data transferred from hives around the world and allow to compare the behavior of bees in different parts of the world. The Accumulation of such data contributes to a fuller study of the life of the bees, including to understand why the mortality of insects has grown and what to do.

For Quick decision-making the data is transferred to the "cloud" at least once a day. To observe more critical parameters, such as the temperature in the hive, the data transmission interval may be several minutes. In the "cloud" data is analyzed by algorithms and in the case of critical situations, for example, when the temperature is above or below a certain level, the beekeeper receives a notification to the mobile phone with information in which the hive appeared atypical situation.

In the places where the apiary is located, at best, there is mobile communication. So for data transfer usually use GSM. Fortunately, the coating gets better, and the remote antenna allows you to transfer data even in places where the signal level is low.

When a lot of hives, apply different ways of data transfer, so as not to complete the SIM cards each hive. Between hives data is transmitted by cable, which allows you to save on microcontrollers and reduce the cost of maintenance, because you need to charge only one battery.

A Powerful battery can be powered by a microcontroller that consumes very little power for several months.

If The hive is at a considerable distance from each other, the data between the hives can be transmitted via Wi-Fi, so as not to stretch the cable, and then the central device transmits them to the "cloud" via the GSM channel. But This approach greatly increases the cost of system deployment.

Useful links to IoT for beekeeping

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