- Hive Year 2017

Sacramento (95827), California USA -      Contact             


Welcome to the Apiary ( prototype) presents bee hive monitoring through advanced telemetry applications and systems.


    The hive telemetry collection strategy concentrates on four key areas (below), for monitoring the general health & welfare of a colony of honey bees.

  • Hive Climate
  • Hive Weight Change
  • Hive acoustics & comb vibro-acoustics or seismicity
  • Visual surveillance
  •      These hives are monitored with a variety of internal climate sensors including temperature, airflow, relative humidity, and dew point. Site and regional ambient weather conditions such as prevailing winds, rain, soil moisture, light, and barometric pressure are also monitored.  

        The purpose is to monitor and study the hive climate and its relationship to the ambient climate. The differences in climate are due to the behavior of the honeybees inside of the hive. This is a key feature that will enhance the ability to deliver proactive care, and gain a better understanding of the colony behavior throughout the life-cycle. 

    View-able during the day:Live Hive Entrance Video (Seeking a 2017 Swarm with some pheromone)

    Below is a sample DAILY climate report showing  real-time climate data including entry climate and comb temperatures from a beehive (Apiary in Sacramento, CA.)



    Below is a sample WEEKLY report showing  real-time climate data including entry climate and comb temperatures from a beehive (Apiary in Sacramento, CA.)


         Temperature sensors (Blue and Orange above) are sensors that exists inside of the honey comb inside each hive, and their temperatures are key life-sign and behavior indicators for the colony. During nursery operations, when the bees are producing new brood the sensors will always be above 90. A healthy colony will never drop below 50 in the cluster, even if it the temperature is freezing outside.  This sensor can detect problems with the queen, or lack of a queen.

        Weight change is monitored precisely in a constant (24/7) fashion that will report trends in colony & equipment mass.  Honey is heavy stuff, and when flora is in blossom and bees are foraging for resources, a scale will measure the change in weight as bees bring resources to the hive. This is often called the HoneyBee Nectar Flow (HBNF). Weights change dramatically as the bees store nectar and make honey in the combs. Generally, new resources become available in Spring, and the reduction of resources from climate occur in the Summer-Fall (dearth) and will effect the resources available for the bees to forage. The hive can also retain or evaporate weight daily due to moisture.  It is often that a bird or other animal will have incidental contact with the hive which can cause short-term changes in total mass. Weight change data helps a beekeeper know when to harvest and when to feed, but it also is an indicator of daily and long term colony behavior and performance.  

    Below is a WEEKLY Bulk Mass sample report in real-time for a beehive 
    (Apiary in Sacramento, CA.)

    The benefits of this technology include:

    • Improve the knowledge-base in ecological survey and honeybee behavior
    • Provide knowledge of the timing of the forage/blossom HBNF – Honey Bee Nectar Flow - critical to beekeepers whom wish to maximize their pollination efficiency and/or honey production potential.
    • Support honey production forecasting and honey tampering investigations (HFCS fraud deterrent)
    • Characterize and evaluate Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)
    • Monitor related climate and environmental components – Industrial Ag Operations (Environmental-canary in the coal-mine)
    • Provide commercial operations with valuable Best Management Practice (BMP) tools
    • Management and production tools to support  - QA/QC & quarantine,  Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) – Actionable regulatory oversight
    • Support for Sustainable Collaborative Programs for Education & Community
    • Catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship – Integration of STEM & IoT into the community.
    • Sponsor Private/Public Partnerships – Leverage + share Internet integrated infrastructure including wireless in rural communities


         Digital surveillance systems include (IR) infrared light cameras that monitor cluster density and activity, apiary perimeter, and entrance activities.  The entrance cameras have motion systems that detect flight operations start/stop times, and cameras combined with optical zoom can provide a detailed single bee view of a pollen load or extended abdomen.


    Entrance Image from HD Optical Zoom Cam from a hive in San Jose, CA. 



        Streaming of the first 10 weeks of bottom cluster IR imagery from the Beta Hive using YouTube Creator Studio BETA, with a Raspberry Pi controller and an IR Camera has concluded.  You may view all of the raw and edited production media at the StephensApiary YouTube Streaming Channel : StephensApiary YouTube Streamer Channel

        Various audio microphones and acoustic transducers provide signals data from the combs and airspaces within the hive. 


        These sensor/services combined with local micro-controllers store data locally. The data is also transmitted to the internet using local area networking (LAN) infrastructure. The internet based servers (Hivelogger Cloud) performs cognitive analytics on all of the data. Those resources also produce real-time 24/7 monitoring, data-trending, reporting, and escalation analysis available to any browser or Smartphone.  I can literally watch and listen to the bees from my phone while I travel.


        If you find this technology interesting, are interested in similar deployments and applications, wish to donate or collaborate, or are conducting your own research, please contact me using the link above.


    Thank you for visiting.

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