Beekeeping project

The honeybees are dying - and we don’t really know why. On normal years beekeepers might expect to lose around 10% of their colony. Over the last years mortality rates has changed up to 75%.

The health of colony can be determined based on a few factors.

  • Temperature is an early indicator of whether or not the bees are about to swarm.
  • Humidity is another indicator of bee health. If the area is too damp, it can damage the hive.

So here is the idea !
I want to build a data logger for the hives. I like to record the temperature inside as well as outside temperature and humidity 3 of 4 times a day.

Now I'm thinking about the parts...

Arduino UNO + Adafruit Data Logger Shield !?
Any suggestion for humidity and temperature probe !?

Thanks in advance.

A TMP36 sensor is a cheap way to get started with temperature, but I'm not sure how accurate it is.

Or you could get a sensor that combines both temperature and humidity like this one from Sparkfun Humidity and Temperature Sensor - DHT20 - SEN-18364 - SparkFun Electronics

European honey bees ordinarily live for only 2-3 weeks. You have been reading BS. What are dying are the hives of bees. The queen lives longer. Several years.

Paul

Paul_KD7HB:
European honey bees ordinarily live for only 2-3 weeks. You have been reading BS. What are dying are the hives of bees. The queen lives longer. Several years.

Hello Paul_KD7HB.
I don't know which kind of bees you have. I have Buckfast bees.
The worker bees live for 6 or 7 weeks during the spring or summer months.
For the wintertime they live 4 to 6 months. The queen could live for 3 to 4 years, as long as she is free from disease!

The point is that so many honeybee colonies died over the winter. The Beekeepers here in this area have the same problem as I have. So we need more information what going on in the hive. Maybe this will help to keep more bees alive.

Pauly:
A TMP36 sensor is a cheap way to get started with temperature, but I'm not sure how accurate it is.

Thanks!
Looks like a good choice, nice price 8) I will need 4

Pauly:
Or you could get a sensor that combines both temperature and humidity like this one from Sparkfun Humidity and Temperature Sensor - DHT20 - SEN-18364 - SparkFun Electronics

I was looking for a humidity only probe. Maybe I can use only the humidity funktion ... ?

For temperature, the DS18B20 is always popular.

How do beekeepers protect such things? I'd think that for a humidity sensor, the bees would tend to contaminate/cover it.

Well, Sparkfun does have just a humidity sensor. SparkFun Humidity Sensor Breakout - HIH-4030 - SEN-09569 - SparkFun Electronics although it isn't cheap.

wildbill:
How do beekeepers protect such things? I'd think that for a humidity sensor, the bees would tend to contaminate/cover it.

Not sure right now.
I'm thinking about a smal top box on the hive with a grid in front of the opening ... and enough place for the arduino.

AndreasVan:
The point is that so many honeybee colonies died over the winter. The Beekeepers here in this area have the same problem as I have. So we need more information what going on in the hive. Maybe this will help to keep more bees alive.

Here over in the EU the problem with more than normal dying bee colonies also exists. In some years the problem is bigger than in other years.

The problems have very much inreased over the years since cultivation of the energy crop 'corn' (mealie) increased here in Europe. As there seems to be a statistical connection between cultivation of energy crop like corn and the special pesticides used for that and the increase of bee colonies dying, here in the EU a ban of three pesticides have been enforced: Clothianidin, Imidacloprid and Thiamethoxam.

Unfortunately the bad health of bee colonies cannot be cut down to a single cause, like bad weather or the Varroa mite or pesticides.

In the German forum there was also a guy who wanted to create something like a "bee data logger" last year. I've helped him a bit with the software. He wanted to use especially cheap DHT22 sensors from China for measuring temperature and humidity. He wanted data from the air outside and he wanted sensors in several bee-hives, and then log the data to SD card for several months.

So you have obviously ruled out CCD and such?

jurs:
In the German forum there was also a guy who wanted to create something like a "bee data logger" last year. I've helped him a bit with the software. He wanted to use especially cheap DHT22 sensors from China for measuring temperature and humidity. He wanted data from the air outside and he wanted sensors in several bee-hives, and then log the data to SD card for several months.

Do you mean Datenlogger für Versuchsbienenstand !?
Sounds very interesting.

AndreasVan:
Do you mean Datenlogger für Versuchsbienenstand !?
Sounds very interesting.

Yes, exactly that thread.

I posted some code in reply #47 and an improved version with blinking status LEDs in #60.

He wanted to use a whole bunch of DHT22 sensors with several hives and just one Arduino.
But I don't know if or what he is actually using from the code I posted in that thread.

BTW: The data format written to that data logger is optimized for the data to be imported into MS EXCEL (German version with 'Germany' settings). The "CSV data import" function of Excel depends on country settings, so if you want to import data easily into MS Excel, you must provide the data in a form that fits the Excel settings for your country, such like date format, decimal seperating char and such. Otherwise you might need to do several steps of conversion while opening/importing a data file into Excel each time you read a file from the data logger with your PC software.

I'm impressed. Your code looks great.
If it's ok for you I like to take this as base for my project :wink:
Now i have ordered the Data Logging Shield and a few DHT22.
I 'll let you know how it goes! Stay tuned !

Danke 8)

AndreasVan:
I'm impressed. Your code looks great.
If it's ok for you I like to take this as base for my project :wink:
Now i have ordered the Data Logging Shield and a few DHT22.
I 'll let you know how it goes! Stay tuned !

I've posted the code without any restrictions, so please feel free to take what you need and use as you like!

The code version which shows blinking status LEDs is specifically made for people having trouble with SD card failures at power-on. As I have heard, some people have trouble that their SD card module does not initialize with a 100% OK rate when powering on, so it would perhaps be a good idea to have some optical checking if the start of the data logger went fine or failed. Otherwise you may power-on the device and realize after a month or so, that no single line of data were written, when you finally try to read the data from SD. If you get some "SD card OK" from a blinking LED after power-on, you could easily see that everything is fine with data logging immeriately after power-on.

Perhaps I could do better with coding, but what is available should be working OK.

Data format may need some small changes, depending on your country settings, as the "import CSV data" function of PC spreadsheet software works much better if the data to be imported need not to be converted while importing, so perhaps test the data format with your preferred spreadsheet software before logging huge amount of data.

If you'd have any questions, feel free to post here in this thread.

Thanks so much! When I get the parts I will continue with this thread!

Maybe you have some ideas for my other project too :wink: Klick !

Article that may be of interest to you, just read it today: http://www.iflscience.com/technology/better-beehive-looks-sweet-aspiring-apiarists

Marmotjr:
Article that may be of interest to you, just read it today: http://www.iflscience.com/technology/better-beehive-looks-sweet-aspiring-apiarists

Amazing :o

Marmotjr:
Article that may be of interest to you, just read it today.

Ah yes, did read that yesterday in the journal - fully explained.

Using synthetic combs which "split" the cells. Clever idea.

Now, it’s time for testing…

The first test run stops after 4 hours. It was a battery problem. Now I have to check the Check battery consumption…

AndreasVan:
Now, it's time for testing...

The first test run stops after 4 hours. It was a battery problem. Now I have to check the Check battery consumption...

The code I posted is not for battery operated devices, but for Arduinos with an AC power adapter.

Battery operated Arduino boards provide some difficulties caused by high power consumption.

A big difficulty is, that hardly any ready-to-use Arduino board is really well fitted for battery operation.

Most Arduino boards draw something like 47mA current (i.e. "UNO"), while just about 17 mA are drawn by the Atmega controller and 30 mA are used by the rest of the on-board components like power regulator, USB serial adapter and last but not least the power-on LED which is always on when the board is powered.

So the problem is: If you use some sleepmode to power-down the controller, you'd be able to just save the 17 mA of the controller in power-down mode, but the 30 mA power consumption for the rest of the board will keep going.

First thing you'd have to find is a circuit or a Arduino board, that can operate your Atmega as well as the RTC and the SD card modules, which NOT has continous power consumption of several milliamperes.

Then you could try to operate a battery powered data logger most of the time in power-down mode.

An Atmega328 in power-down mode draws less than 1µA
A DHT22 sensor in power-down draws less than 30µA
A RTC should also be less than 50 µA, same with SD card controller while powered down.

Operating times of 1000, 2000, 4000, 8000 hours and batteries are only possible using

  • circuits that can be set into a power-down mode using much less than 1mA standby current
  • operating the circuit in power-down mode most of the time
  • waking up the system only for very short "active time" operation

Are you bound to battery operation?
Is there no house nearby where you can plug in an AC power adapter to provide 5V voltage for your Arduino?

In former years the "Arduino Mini 05" board had been a good choice for battery operated projects. But I think nowadays it is hard to find and the last ones are sold grossly overpriced, so I'd look out for a different solution if I'd need battery a operated device.