It has WiFi. if you don’t have WiFi signal in your hive, you can buy a router in Amazon for $30 USD that can solve this problem and use the cell phone network to connect to the cloud.
It is an Arduino based microcontroller. We have engineered in such a way as to leave 3 to 6 pins for output, that is control things… I will now answer your questions in order:
1, About counting bees. Let’s assume that you have 30,000 foragers in your hive (which is typical average), so in the morning, 30,000 bees will go out, the counter counts how many bees go out, as they complete their rounds, some will come back and exit again. So the number of bees out will be changing over time, but at the end of the day only three things can happen: The number of bees that came back is less than the ones that left. This is the normal thing, you expect to loose around 1000 bees at the honey flow per day. Your Queen can lay more than 1900 eggs a day so you are fine. If you loose say 5000 a day, you can safely assume that some pesticide is killing your bees. Your Queen won’t be able to keep up you may loose your hive in as little as 5 to 10 days! And perhaps call it CCD!
The other thing that can happen but would be rare, is that the exact number of bees that exited came back in.
The third thing would be you get 20,000 bees more into your hive, therefore, africanization. Now, if the activity doubles and the weight decreases, then you are being robbed. If all the bees are going out and no be is coming in, then, your bees are about to swarm, You have may be a couple of hours to catch them. Hive Genie will let you know within minutes of any of these things happening!
Weight is measured by a probe under the front end of the hive and we just double the weight. It is a rough estimate but the trend is what you need. Over time with your personal feedback you can figure out a correction factor.
Yes temp probe inside and out and the same probe cam measure relative Humidity.
Ambient light detector is important so if you have a lot of nocturnal activity, then moths may be coming in or your bees are under attack by a skunk or something like it.
OK, to determine if the Queen is laying we keep the count. Let’s say 30,000 bees exited yesterday and 29,000 came back. If today another 30,000 exit, then you can assume that the Queen is laying at least enough to replace the death toll. On the contrary if 29,000 go out today, and tomorrow 28,000 and so on, you may have no Queen. Also, when the Queen is laying, the temperature is pretty stable at around 33-34 ºC and if there is no Queen, temp inside the hive will vary throughout the day.
So counting bees bidirectionally actually tells a very good story of what is going on inside and outside of your hive!
About the camera: SORRY it does not for two reasons:
A. The image signal take a lot of space in the controller so we wouldn’t be able to count or weigh bees, which in my mind are the two most important pieces of information. A camera only tells you what is going on in the parts you can see, as weight and count tell you the whole story, even about foraging dangers.
B. A camera and servos to move it would cost as much as a GoPro, in which case you just go and buy a GoPro.
I am not saying that is not a good idea, but for now it is not a priority. Maybe if lots of beeks ask we can develop something in the near future.
I think this is explained above. The fact that all the alarms are on the cloud means that as we gather more info we can fine tune and correlate more things…
Currently it does not has a nose, maybe in the future we can find a sensor that detects this! Exciting isn’t it?
Actually we can measure:
Temp and humidity
So we tested all this.
Hope this info is useful, will be glad to answer more questions…