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Arnia Monitor to Detect Brood and Laying


Hi all,

Some time ago, @Dee asked me whether the Arnia hive monitor was any good at detecting queenlessness in a hive. I haven’t had a queenless state in my monitored hive since we installed the monitor, so I couldn’t answer. However, I now have some related data.

Arnia recommends that you place the brood temperature probe in the middle of the brood box, as central as possible in the brood nest. The temperature should be a pretty constant 32-35C. Over the last month, the temp on our probe dropped to about 31-32C. I wasn’t worried, as we are entering midwinter here in coastal California and I thought that the queen may have stopped laying, or was laying in a patchy pattern.

Last weekend, we inspected our hive which is monitored. Very interesting. During the summer, the queen tended to lay in frames 2 to 7 in our 8 frame box. Now she is laying in frames 1 to 4, all on the north side of the hive. Very odd and unpredictable. The temperature probe was between frames 4 and 5. Following the inspection, we moved it back to the center of the new brood nest, and now the temps are much more stable. Here is a screen shot:

So I think that my answer to Dee now would be that the temp probe can tell you when the brood pattern has changed, even if the hive is not queenless. I did see her during the inspection, by the way, so I know she is alive. But even more interesting to me is that the bees concentrate their effort on heating the hive laterally as well as vertically. In other words, when the queen decided to lay on the north side of the hive, the bees kept the temperature stable on that side, abandoning the south side shown by a much wider diurnal variation in temperature.

Fascinating creatures! :blush:


Yes they need to keep the brood warm and brood itself raises the temperature.
I know in my hives, which have the frames warm way, the bees keep the brood in the middle of the hive in Summer. In Winter the bees put their stores at the back of the hive so they are more easily defended and the brood at the front. I don’t have any hives with frames cold way so I don’t know if it happens there too.
If the Arnia can accurately show when a hive has no brood it would be an immensely useful tool. It would be the ideal time to vape with oxalic and you wouldn’t have to open up in the winter to check.

Thank you @Dawn_SD for the fascinating update.
By the way…how are the electrics coping with the inherently hostile environment of the hive?


So far, just fine. We have had the equipment installed for around 5 months. The brood temperature probe gets quite a bit of propolis on it, but it is very soft here, and wipes off fairly easily with a piece of hessian/burlap. They seem to have largely ignored the humidity probe, which is located in the corner of the hive. Just a little propolis along the wire, nothing on the tip.


Hi @Dawn_SD. I am very interested in getting the Arnia for our apiary, well, it’s on my birthday gift list. I’m in with a chance, since that’s the only item on my list.
So, are you still happy with your all out purchase? Any recommendations?
I hope they deliver to Australia. Sent them an email, but I think it’s nighttime over there now.


@Webclan I am not sure when your birthday is but I purchased the HiveGenie. I should have it in the next week or so and will plan to put them on my hive’s once they arrive. It tracks brood temp, outside temp, humidity, weight of the hive, and also has gates on the front to track bees coming and going into the hive. I will put a link below. There also is a cloud tool that can be used to monitor and manage the data. It will be an interesting experiment. I am a tech and gadget guy so this should be interesting. I am also in the middle of getting all the parts and pieces together to build a similar hive tool that measures temperature, humidity, and weight using a raspberry pi board and arduino based code built by a team on http://www.hivetool.org


Honestly I am excited to see what they both can do. The hivetool is more work but it has been fun so far building the kit to make it work.


You beauty! Awesome, we can compare notes.
I am pretty set now on the Arnia and believe it has secretly been ordered, but will instantly check out your link. Bday is in a week, but hey, the Arnia comes from the UK, so might have to wait.


It has gates! I think the Arnia has a mic, not sure about gates, never heard it mentioned.


Their is an option to add a mic to the hive genie but I have not looked into it yet. I have seen the different mic’s that are available as sensors to put in the hive but I imagine that their will be some issues with propolis. I know that some people have used ping pong balls cut in half to cover the sensors but this will obviously limit where you can put them and potentially create bee space issues, burr comb, etc. Just thinking about it out loud the best place would be to incorporate it into the interior cover.


Arnia has the mic encased and I think it just goes under the landing board, and sounds are discerned by past experience of the creators to show whatever the bees are most likely doing. Anyway, that’s how understand it.
They have a way to let you know how active your bees are, but never heard of a gate. I am really interested in that. Perhaps the gates can be added to the
I find I love beekeeping hands on, but wouldn’t be interested in commercial beekeeping. I think my new love takes me towards research and later perhaps breeding. Always loved statistics. Might have found my niche.


It is a great device when it works properly. I have been waiting to iron out a few minor issues before I write a full review here. The main problems have been minor electronic snags in the boxes (one unit couldn’t pick up a 3G phone signal, one had a faulty temperature probe) and some software glitches which have since been fixed. Customer support is excellent and very helpful, although they can be quite slow. If you can upgrade to the Pro scale model, I recommend it. It has a much nicer base and monitoring unit.

The Arnia does have a microphone which is installed inside the entrance of the hive. It does not have gates or any photocell devices. It uses acoustic processing software to detect relative flight activity, fanning and general hive activity. It also has brood temperature, which I find one of the most useful measurements, and hive humidity which would be useful in colder climates for detecting condensation risk. Here are some recent graphs, showing that a minor nectar flow has just started:

I don’t find the acoustic data as interesting, but my husband loves it:

Here is an interesting increase in the average brood temperature. It coincided with an inspection showing an increase in the size of the brood nest:

Hope you find it interesting.

By the way, it took about a month for our Arnia unit to arrive, so don’t worry if it is taking a while. :wink:


Thanks a lot @Dawn_SD. Sounds like an honest review. Sure, glitches are there to get worked out. Good advice about the scales. Was going to get the older version to reduce shipping weight, but will now get the big heavier one, even if I have to wait longer. Now to decide on a colour.



I got the green one, and it looks very nice to my eye. :blush:

Notice that the hive strap runs between the two plates of the scale. The upper plate lifts off the sensors on the lower plate. I wanted to strap the hive boxes together, but you can’t strap the stack of boxes to the stand any more, or the weight will be totally inaccurate due to the pressure that the strap would create by compressing the scale. :wink:


That’s good info about the strap, makes sense too. I will only need a strap when a cyclone is on the way though. Will take the green scales for Queen Lala, I too find it looks good with the WRC. Might take the red scales for Queen Maya, goes with the pictures I painted on the pine. Heard the gateway needs to be 30-50m from the hive, means I have to shift one. Fortunately I have a good place for it. Wish it would reach 100m, that would be perfect. Have to go do some measuring.
Thanks for your pics, makes it so much more appealing.
The daily fluctuations are amazing. Were the bees gathering anything outside at the time? I suppose yes, else they wouldn’t start enlarging their brood nest?
Does the rainwater device need regular cleaning?
I better check how mobile reception is down there too. Do you have the higher data plan?
I am soooo looking forward to the Arnia arriving.


I presume so, otherwise the hive weight wouldn’t be increasing. :wink:

I haven’t needed to clean ours, except to empty out a few leaves. I guess it depends on how much rain and debris you get in it. There has been very little in ours in the last 6 months.

I think so. It was almost a year ago, so it is hard to remember the details. :blush: