HoneyPi is a Raspberry Pi based measurement system. It measures the values of sensors such as temperature, humidity, air pressure and weight. This includes an app in which these measurement data are visualized. These measured values are of particular relevance for a beekeeper to be able to monitor the colony. The beekeeper should be able to access these measurements from anywhere at any time. Possible application scenarios are, for example, the detection of a swarm of bees flying out. The swarm alarm is triggered by a drop in weight and the beekeeper receives an e-mail notification. The breeding chamber temperature can also be monitored. Thus it can be determined for example whether the beehive is kept warm in the winter cluster sufficiently in the winter and the bee colony possesses still brood.
For the beekeeper, an intelligent hive scale makes his work easier because such a measuring system provides many helpful results. The daily flight operation can be measured on the basis of weight changes. It also shows at which times the bees look for the most pollen and honey. The honey yield can be measured on the basis the weight difference to the previous day. In addition the brood area temperature in the winter states, when from the queen is still hatched. With a sudden weight decrease a possible theft of the bee colony can be recognized. In addition, an early warning system can provide information on whether a large number of bees, e.g. a moving swarm of bees, have left the hive.
The embedded device should collect various measurement data via the connected sensors and transmit them via the MQTT protocol to a central web server. From there, the measurement results can be retrieved via a REST interface and displayed graphically for the beekeeper in a smartphone application.
A market analysis showed that stock scales are no novelties for beekeepers and still cost between 800 and 1,000 euros. In addition to these high acquisition costs per beehive, there are additional fees for the ongoing operation, such as costs for the server rental, which are estimated by the providers.
With the HoneyPi project beekeepers should be able to assemble their own hive scales for from 100 euros in pure material costs. The software, like the app and the Raspberry Pi firmware, should be available from www.honey-pi.de The website at honey-pi.de should help for the assembly of the sensors and installation of the software as manual and assistance.
Translated 21.07.2019 by JK