Brood Chamber and Environmental Monitoring Project Stub

Post your suggestions and questions here regarding the Brood Chamber and Environmental Monitoring project.

Do you have experience with programming Arduinos AND One-Wire? Help! There is not nearly enough information on combining those two on Internet.

13 comments to Brood Chamber and Environmental Monitoring Project Stub

  • Good post by our friends at Make: The Internet of Bees: Adding Sensors to Monitor Hive Health. Read it at http://makezine.com/projects/bees-sensors-monitor-hive-health.

  • Cathy

    Is there a way to do this with a wireless connection to a computer to log the data?

  • This site has a great spectrum and is very interesting. I’m attempting something similar (arduino, oneWire etc.) with my bees though my electronics experience is next to nothing at the moment. You can see where it’s at here.

  • Doug

    With the help of a friend, I have 5 temperature sensors connected to an Arduino Uno. I use an SD shield and a clock chip. It cost $95. One sensor is between the two deeps, one under the combination inner cover and bottom board to the double nuc on top of this hive. There is one each above each side of a double nuc that sits on top. Then there is a reference sensor outside. The C++ code writes the time, sensor address and temperatures to a csv file every hour on the SD card. Have another Arduino I would like to connect to some load cells at some point. Arduino’s seem real versatile and cheap. All sorts of sensors you can buy

  • itspec13

    To count all the bees within the hive. I’ve been considering how this could be achieved for quite some time. I work as an IT specialist for the usda and one of my unit’s is a bee lab. Couldn’t you briefly expose the hive to an electric field then measure the resistance of said field then measure the average resistance of an empty colony with supers and honey then measure the resistance of one bee. After that plug in your figures and you’d have a fairly accurate count would you not? this could all be done with arduino over a wifi network. Arduino supports temp sensing too. Maybe even humidity sense. Its something to be looked at I think. I m not sure what the consequences or power consumption of exposing the hive to a weak electric field may be.

  • Hello Folks,

    If anyone is interested, I have a hive online at:
    woodhollow.net/bees/hivetool

    It is based on a PC motherboard and records weight, internal hive and ambient temperatures, and audio. (I’ve placed a microphone in the hive and have done some recordings and played with synthesizing piping using the PC’s sound card.) I am in the process of adding a counter and video cameras inside the hive.

    The counter consists of 28 3/8″ tunnels with two phototransistors per tunnel. The initial design is finished. I plan to buy the parts and breadboard 7 tunnels this month. I will post the schematic after I test the breadboard …

  • idubrawsky

    Very nice. I’ve also got beehives that I want to monitor remotely and to gather continual environmental information. I’m looking at basing the idea on an Arduino UNO board but having the sensor completely remote – using solar power as a way to power the system and transmitting the information to a receiver – probably in the 900MHz ISM band (2.4GHz would be nice but I suspect the power draw may be too much for solar – still, it would probably be easier).

  • Deamiter

    I am not remotely a lawyer, but I read technical patents quite often for my job. I noted that the claims in patent 6,910,941 all cover bee counting at the doors to a hive. Perhaps more importantly, none of the claims mention temperature or humidity sensing as you have proposed.

    It is only the claims in a patent that are given special patent protection. That means that while the body of the patent mentions all sorts of things, the patent does not claim, and therefore does not protect the use of temperature or humidity sensors in a hive. This patent restricts the ways you could profit from counting bees for the next few years. but other than that, it’s really very limited.

  • pkendall

    This is a very cool site, beehacker. I am new to all of this online make/hacker material but I have been working with the problem of “wet” honey for a while. My uncle is a beekeeper in Paraguay. The climate in Paraguay is very hot and wet and therefore he has to deal with high moisture honey. Has anyone tried out the thermostatically controlled hive ventilator (http://www.beecoolventilators.com/index.php)? The people selling the product make some very exciting claims but I would like to have some supporting evidence. I can buy into the logic of the device: 1) the idea that the device does the fanning for the bees 2) the idea that bees have evolved living in trees which assisted in homeostasis and 3) humid environments favor many bee pests. I believe a vent fan could be easily incorporated into the proposed hive monitoring system. The humidity sensor could also play a role in a ventilator since it is the RH that controls the moisture content of the honey, not just the temperature. For example, the fan could be triggered by a combination of a RH and temp threshold.

    Sorry to deviate from the hive monitoring subject but I would like some input on my honey drier project. I have built a low cost honey drier for my uncle but it isn’t cutting it for the quantity of honey he is dealing with. It is basically a hacked version of US patent 4763572 and built entirely with materials from Home Depot. I am stepping my game up for the new design and I’d like to make a project page for this site so that others may contribute. Is there any interest in this project? The vent system mentioned above isn’t practical for 100+ hive (at least not yet…). As a preview, I am building the universal temperature controller seen on makeprojects.com and I plan to pump hot dry air bubbles into the bottom of a large honey container. I may also combine it with a drum heater. Wet honey can be a problem for us Georgians too so I hope some of you can relate to the problem.

  • Texas Instruments has just released several microcontrollers that have wireless capabilities and temperature sensors on board for reasonable prices. Evaluation boards include are reasonable and development software is free off a provided link to a website. I was given a watch that has temperature sensor, accellerometer, real time clock and wireless interface (upto 150′) built in… You may find this and other devices of interest at…

  • The benefit of the snmp capability is that data can be both stored locally and polled/transmitted and stored remotely via the network so a special trip to the hive is never necessary. This provides for real-time trend reports. Trends over 24 hours, over weeks, months, and even annual trends.

    I find watching the trends of say temperature of the comb in comparison to climate much more helpful than just knowing the temperature at any one time. How and why the temperature is what it is, is much more interesting than just knowing what the temperature is at a specific point in time.

    Among the sensors in my device is an electronic transducer connected to a custom sensor that provides continuous weight change data for the hive as well as escalation in the form of electronic notification such as text message and/or email reporting. This capability offers the beekeeper notification (takes about 5-10 min) if the hive is manipulated or vandalized. The other benefit is that it provides trending data that can be used to assess hive and colony performance & behavior. The sensor suite can manage over 500 pounds and can detect changes when properly calibrated on the order of about 10 grams.

    The HD video cam can count bees as well as record the time of day that flight operations start. This works but counting of the bees is problematic right now and full of error so I am working to try and teach the cam how to identify departing, arriving, and guard bees. The big potential I think exists with the HD Cam is the ability to measure wavelengths and %’s and I think it is possible to teach a cam to identify specific wavelengths and measure the amount entering the hive. As an example a bee returning with pollen has distinguishable wavelengths associated with the pollen that can be removed from the entire bee base wavelength. Periods of time when bees are bringing pollen back to the hive and the amounts should be able to be estimated using this method.

  • yennifs

    I built a quick temperature logger for my hive using a datalogger card and thermal sensor from http://www.sparkfun.com. The card will record any sort of sensor output onto a built-in micro SD card at an interval you can set. I have vent holes drilled in most of my hive bodies, so I can push the temp sensor into the hole to get a reading. I think the whole thing cost $40, and could take other sensors too. I have always wanted to count bee flights and compare their frequency to the air temperature or sunshine. I am looking for a way to remotely determine relative health of many hives. A weight sensor might be idea, but seem very expensive…

  • I recently got an email from Stephen Engel, a collaborator that proves that good ideas belong to no single person. Stephen has a 1-wire environmental monitor and is described below in his words:

    I basically modified a cheap datacenter climate monitor for a bee hive rather than build the monitor from scratch. I interface with the monitor through a tcp/ip interface using snmp to produce the report/graph you see. The monitor supports dallas 1-wire and analog type sensors that output voltage-scale like 0.5-4.5v in 5v system = 0-100% scale of what ever your sensor is gauged at. Pretty much anything you can dream up that outputs at that scale or is a chip can be supported, The software on the monitor and the software at the other end of the snmp query that produces the reports are separate systems. The reports are from Perl based apps and MS SQL in a datacenter. The monitor has a compiled OS but I can modify some stuff with XML or snmp and the compiled OS has a web interface that I use to config sensors, outputs types, and so forth. I use the device called Mini Goose, made by ITWatchDogs.com aka. Geist Electronics, but most of the sensors are standard Maxim products, but it was just easier for me to use their stuff like the CCAT interface, etc.

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