The main ingredients of honey are glucose and fructose. For diabetics, who must monitor the level of glucose in their blood, continuous glucose monitors have been developed. It seems plausible that these monitors could be adapted to detect the presence of honey in the parts of the hive designated to store honey. A honey detector would help disambiguate data from the weight sensor, as both bees and honey contribute to the weight of the hive.
A honey monitor in a super could tell the beekeeper when it was full. A honey monitor in the winter stores could warn that the stores had been consumed.
Continuous blood glucose monitor
To our knowledge no honey monitors are yet available.
Ripe honey detector
Honey is ripe when bees cap it. The sugars have been transformed and sufficient water has been removed to prevent spoilage. Ripe honey detectors, located at the ends of a frame, near the bottom bar, could signal the frame’s readiness to be harvested.
In the laboratory, a number of methods are used in the routine quality control of honey. See, for example:
- Analytical Methods Used in the Quality Control of Honey: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jafc.6b04776?journalCode=jafcau
- Honey Authenticity: a Review: http://www.bee-hexagon.net/files/file/fileE/Honey/AuthenticityRevue_Internet.pdf
It seems plausible that an in-hive or in-frame Ripe Honey Detector could be developed, but to date, none has appeared.