The Group has just purchased a remote hive monitoring system that will be installed into one of our hives at the Club Apiary at Heligan.
This will allow the recording and online viewing of hive weight, temperature, humidity and audio signals (swarm warning) from the hive. It has now been configured and will be installed in Hive No. 3.
Hive No. 3 is a ‘rose’ hive. It has an eco floor, heavily insulated cork exterior and wool insulated crown board.
Of most use should be the scales, which will give an indication of when a flow is on, and how quickly the bees are consuming stores in time of dearth. This along with the other data should give us some real quantitative insight in addition to our normal inspections.
The supplier of the equipment is UK Bees Store. If members are interested in acquiring similar equipment then check out their website at UK Bees Store and contact The Group for details on discounts available to Roseland Members.
The various data streams are presented in easy to follow charts and tables. You can view the ones from our set up here.
- The internal temperature, humidity and audio / frequency data is measured from the ‘hive heart’ placed on the top of the frames, above the brood nest. Audio data is also recorded from here.
- External temperature and humidity is measured from the hive scales, in shade beneath the hive.
- The weight is measured for the whole hive, to an accuracy of +/-0.25kg.
- Status – Indicates the overall state of the colony and the hive scale technology.
- Bees – Indicates low or high, unusual or critical values of internal temperature and humidity.
- Swarming – Based on sound frequency analysis, this indicates different stages of swarming preparation. Red indicates there is a high risk of an imminent swarm. Yellow means the bees are making preparations to swarm.
- Frequency – Bees communicate by buzzing, mainly by changing the frequency. From this change, we can identify a missing queen (bees cry). Also, we can determine when they are ready for swarming. The standard frequency of a bee colony is 200 Hz. If they are ready for swarming they change to 240Hz. In swarming mood is around 270Hz and by 300Hz you only have a short period until they swarm, depending on the weather.
- Amplitude – The overall noise (loudness) of the colony. From this number, we can monitor the activity of colony and its excitement from different events. For example healing, nectar harvesting or intruder attack from wasps, hornets etc… The range starts at singles in the winter through tenths up to hundreds with a strong bee colony in the summer.