The Internet of Stings: WiFi for your beehive
The Internet of Stings: WiFi for your beehive.
New Zealand based beekeeping technology company, Hivemind Ltd, have released a new WiFi beehive scale and smartphone app that will allow urban beekeepers, bee educators and researchers, to better monitor their bees and more easily share their knowledge about these vitally important pollinators. A crowdfunding campaign for the product is currently live on the indiegogo platform here: www.indiegogo.com/at/wifibees
The importance of bees in our environment is a highly topical and important issue gaining increasing coverage. Beekeeper and hive numbers are continuing to increase in New Zealand with over 5000 registered in 2014. Over 800 beekeepers recently attended the national four day conference in Taupo. Numbers of urban beekeepers in particular are increasing and may play a vital role in the future health of the honeybee. This new wifi hive scale and app will help beekeepers build and share their knowledge of what is happening in a beehive.
The scale will be able to directly connect with a smartphone or local WiFi network, and automatically upload the weight and ambient temperature data which will allow interested beekeepers of any size to cost-effectively monitor their hives and record the data for reviewing online, sharing with others, contributing to research or education projects as well as documenting and deciding on how best to manage the hive. The output charts of weight progress can be embedded on company, class, project websites to allow other people to see the progress of the hive through the seasons and so build greater engagement with the hive and increase understanding of bees and their important role in our food system. The smartphone app (example screenshot on right) will allow for photos, notes and other reminders to also be linked to the charts to show the effect of the beekeepers management.
Hivemind have been designing and building remote monitoring technology for commercial beekeepers for the past five years and are now bringing this experience to hobbyist beekeepers, educators and researchers. To help make the technology accessible to educators Hivemind is working closely with US Bee education organizations such as; Planet Bee Foundation, in California, and Sweet Beez, New York State.