Major Hive Monitoring Components
Any colony health monitoring system will have five major components:
Furthermore, the sensing and transmitting components, and perhaps the analyzing component, may be located far from conventional sources of electricity and need their own reliable power supply.
For colonies that are far away, even across the back yard, the full set of monitoring components listed above is required. However, for a hive that is in your house, such as an observation hive, things can be much simpler. You will learn a lot about designing the sensor part of your system if you observe the colony first hand as you simultaneously monitor the corresponding sensor data.
For example, consider monitoring hive weight. With an indoor observation hive, you can weigh the hive daily using an inexpensive electronic bathroom scale. Simultaneously, you can observe the combination of bees, brood, and stores that make up the colony’s weight and consider further sensors that might disambiguate the contribution of each component.
Here are a number of authoritative information sources on honey bee observation hives:
- The Bee Peeker What to consider before building or buying a honey bee observation hive, links to books and online instruction sheets for setting up observation hives, and sources of observation hives available for purchase online.