Project organization and Arduino board for bee-hives monitoring

I'm new about Arduino and also about the electronic world... I'm a software developer.

I need to put in place a project to monitor my bee hives.

I have multiple hives in two different places (one with a distance like 2km and the second with 0.5km distance from my house).

In these places there is no energy power and wifi connection.

To solve the first problem my idea is to use a solar panel + a battery (optimizing the times for the measuring... for example switch on the module for 10minutes for each hour)

To solve the second problem my idea is to use LORA sensors on the module and to use a receiver in my house (where I have Internet with a possibility to upload the measurements on a server for post-processing).

For the first version, the three most important parameters that I would like to monitoring are:

  • Temperature (inside the hive);
  • Humidity (inside the hive);
  • Weight of the hive;

For example, in one of my places I have 8 hives. So, I need:

8 temperature and humidity sensors, 8 cells for scales and the LORA sender chip.

As I said, I'm not an electronic expert and this is the first 'serius' project with Arduino.

I have the first base but important question: from your point of view, can I use only one board for each place? Is it enough to connect all sensors (in terms of pins).

My theoretical goal is to use only one Arduino board for each place because, in this way:

  • I will be able to reduce the effort in terms of money (to purchase Arduino's boards as also LORA sensors, etc..)
  • I will be able to reduce the used energy instead of using a dedicated battery + solar panel + chip about the charge of the battery... for each board.

The second most important question (but probably related to the previous one) is: what'is the type of Arduino board would you recommend?

Is this choice related to the number of pins that I will need? I have an additional question also related to the solar panel but probably it's better to clarify the previous aspects, understand the power absorption to define the size of solar panel, of the battery and the intervals (switch on/off of the board).

Feel free to criticize/suggest also my project choices... I'm not an expert so I need only to study for this.

Thank you

It rather depends on what sensors you select, which I expect will be influenced by what you expect the bees to do to them. Humidity in particular will be tricky I expect as the bees make cover over the holes in the sensor casing. It's clearly possible though because this comes up frequently.

The DS18B20 temperature sensors can be run on a bus, so they only need a single data line that they share. As long as the hives are close together, you might be able to run them all. Another possibility is to choose a sensor that gives you both temp and humidity.

Any Arduino has the capacity to run such a program, the only question is pins. Depending on that, the Nano Every might do, if not, a Mega will do it. Port extenders are another possibility.

You have a lot of decisions to make. I was going to suggest purchasing the most inexpensive Arduino UNO you can find, they are under $5.00. You might also look at the ESP32's and ESP8266's they are also under $5.00 and have wifi, bluetooth built in. In looking for ESP with LORA I found this, it appears to be your system: SX1278 LoRa Module 433M 10KM Ra-02 Ai-Thinker Spread Spectrum Wireless Transmission Socket for Smart Home Diy and it is under $5.00. SX1278 LoRa Modulo 433M 10KM Ra 02 Ai Pensatore Spread Spectrum di Trasmissione Senza Fili Presa per Smart Home, Casa Intelligente Fai Da Te|Demo Board Accessories| - AliExpress Let us know how you make out!