Welcome to the Apiary (Hivelogger.com prototype)
StephensApiary.com presents bee hive monitoring through advanced telemetry applications and systems.
Apiary undergoing reconfiguration for 2014.
Bees are in winter cluster - some equipment changes are taking place
The hive telemetry collection strategy concentrates on four key areas (below), for monitoring the general health & welfare of a colony of honey bees.
Hive Weight Change
Hive acoustics & comb vibro-acoustics or seismicity
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 as it changes in relationship to daily climate. 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.
Below is a sample report showing the actual real-time climate data from an Apiary in San Jose, CA.
Below is a sample report showing the actual real-time entry climate and comb temperature data from a hive in San Jose, CA.
The TB sensor (Top Board - green above) is a sensor that exists inside of the honey comb and its temperature is a key indicator of colony behavior. During nursery operations, when the bees are producing new brood this sensor will always be above 90 and will never drop below 50 in a healthy colony. This sensor can detect problems with the queen, or lack of a queen, and is a key life sign indicator.
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 the nectar flow is on, weights can change dramatically as the bees store honey in the combs. 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.
There are many uses of weight change data; It can be used to measure Africanized honeybee migration potential, measure the synchronization of the bees with flora sources in a changing climate, track maintenance activities and provide a deterrent to vandalism and theft.
Below is a Weekly Bulk Mass sample report in real-time for a hive in San Jose, CA.
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.
Various audio microphones and acoustic transducers provide signals data from the combs and airspaces within the hive.
These sensor/services combined with internet based servers and data networks produce the real-time 24/7 monitoring, data-trending, reporting, and escalation analysis. I can literally watch 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 conducting your own research, please contact me using the link at the top.
Thank you for visiting.