The challenge of keeping honeybee hives healthy and viable is getting a helping hand, in the form of a few new high tech tools.
Even aside from the potentially disastrous effects of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), beekeepers of all types - hobbyists, professionals, and researchers - face a wide range of challenges, but a new line of hive monitoring tools may allow for reduced stress for both the bees and the beekeeper, while also adding access to hive metrics for health and activity, as well as realtime alerts for threats to the colony.
The APiS Tech Smart Hive Monitoring system aims to make every beehive a 'smart hive' with a temperature and humidity sensor, a bee counter, and a scale, all connected via a communications hub that sends vital statistics to a web interface accessible from a computer, smartphone, or tablet.
The APiS Tech hive monitoring sensor gets installed in a hive, the communications hub is deployed in the center of the entire apiary (up to 20 meters from the hives), and an optional bee counter device can be installed in the entrance of the hive (similar to an entrance reducer), while the APiS scale goes under the entire hive, where it can measure honey production or hive development.
"APiS analyzes the state of your colonies and puts all the information at your disposal in the APiS platform, sending notifications in case you need to take care of your beehive personally. This way the beekeeper is sure that all the beehives have the right environment for their colonies." - APiS Tech
These beehive monitoring tools can be integrated into an existing or new hive body, but APiS Tech also offers an innovative new Langstroth hive, which has a triple-wall construction and a coating of cork particles, both of which are said to together make the APiS hives more thermally efficient and provide up to 50% more temperature control in the hive. This Smart Hive is designed to be used in conjunction with the APiS Tech monitoring system, but the monitoring system can be used without the new hive body.
"Our patented triple wall with an intermediate insolation coating provides higher thermic efficiency and protection from outside temperatures. It means that if the temperature rises or drops significantly, the temperature of the beehive won’t fluctuate as much."
According to APiS Tech, the monitoring system doesn't disturb the bees, and may actually help disturbances to the hives, thanks to the ability to get hive status information and colony data without a physical inspection.
"Our team worked the last two years to create a way to bring a smart non-offensive hive and monitor technology. And we mean non-offensive in every way. We assure you that bees will not be affected by radiation or anything else that may disturb them. The idea is to make things better for them. Never the opposite." - APiS Tech
The company, which is led by beekeeping CEO Miguel Bento, is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to launch the APiS Tech devices, after which commercial production of these potentially lifesaving bee monitors and hives can commence. Find out more at APiS Tech.