Arduino as a beehive scale for bees

Hello everyone, I'm new to Arduino projects, I came up with the idea to make a scale for hives with honey, more precisely to measure the daily intake of honey in the hives, the temperature in the hive and humidity, and all this information is sent via SMS, so i need help what else i would need for this project besides arduino and how can it all be programmed, thank you in advance everyone for the help!!!

I would suggest you break this down to a few parts for testing.

First I suggest your put the SMS message off until the end. Perhaps display the data on a small LCD or OLED display.

Temperature, consider the DS18B20. You can get them on eBay with a SS housing and long wire.
Humidity, google or search eBay for Arduino + Humidity you will find a number of them.

Weight / Scale: You will need a load cell or cells. Again google or eBay, maybe Amazon. Load cells output a very low signal. You will need a HX711 board to read their output with an Arduino.

I strongly suggest you write a small program for each sensor, get them up and running before any attempt at integration.

Additional thought. Writing to an SD card is not difficult you might want to consider this.
And as long as I'm on a roll you might want to include an RTC (real time clock) Although I admit if you add the SMS you won't need the RTC.

This sort of project comes up fairly frequently on this forum. JR gives good advice. A google search on arduino beehive will give you details on how others have done it.

Any electronics outdoors needs to be protected from the elements and moisture, meaning either full hermetic seal or conformal coating. Otherwise a few months or years down the line it will be a corroded piece of junk.

My experience indicates full hermetic seal or conformal coating are not essential for outdoor electronics:

I have an Arduino and RPi-based bird house monitoring project that includes an IR electric eye across the opening, a weigh scale under the nest box, an HX711, a microphone, a thermistor, an RPi Zero W with No-IR webcam, some IR leds for lighting, a barebones 328p soldered to an Adafruit half-sized proto-perf board, two buck converters, a MAX485, and a handful of other components.

It doesn't have a heater, but the electronics do generate some heat.

All of those parts are well-shielded from snow and rain, but are otherwise exposed to the atmosphere. I put bug screen across the vent holes.

For the last six years, I've put the house out on April 1 and taken it down in the autumn. It operates from April 1until the birds fledge, about mid-June. After that, it is "off." It's on a pole about 15 feet above ground, fully exposed to the elements.

This spring I took it apart for the first time since I made it.

It looked like new.

So it seems hermetic seals or conformal coatings are not essential for (hobby) outdoor electronics, at least not here in Anchorage under my operating conditions.

PS: black-capped and boreal chickadees....

I don't know if Alaska is a good test location or not. I would expect the air to be dryer than say the lower East Coast. I certainly would not recommendation based on a single experience. I suspect many installations survive without any coating, however I'm equally sure many don't. Those that don't are likely not attributed to lack of coating but some other failure of "cheap hobby boards".
So my recommendation is to include a conformal coat in your outside devices.

For coating I prefer silicone conformal coat, many folks rather use Urethane conformal coat. I think it likely doesn't matter for hobby environments.

It would be interesting to test if Urethane spray coating (usually for wood) would be effective.

Useful information for those living near Anchorage for sure.

Yes, or similar conditions.

FWIW, the relative humidity here varies from about 65% (early summer) to 76% (autumn) during the period of operation.

Of course, since we' compared to other parts of the world, the absolute humidity is...relatively...low.

Edit: monthly averages

Relative humidity near the ground rises to 100% every morning that there is dew forming, and during rain.

We got into a discussion on how to protect electronics from the environment.

I suggest you ignore the issue of electronic protection and work on getting each piece of your project working on the bench.

Then integrate the pieces into a single application.

When all that is working, look at what you have and consider how it could be packaged.


1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 120 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.