Beekeepers be interested in a new row three pie project published on the official Raspberry Pi blog this week, detailing how the small yet powerful mini PC has been used to monitor the life-cycle of the bee. Running costs of the system are negligible and cost around £50 to setup.
Created by Glyn Hudson an expert in open-source energy monitoring tools, the system uses open-source software developed for the OpenEnergyMonitor project, to provide data-logging and graphing.
“The aim of the project was to put together a system to monitor the health of a bee colony by monitoring the temperature and humidity inside and outside the hive over multiple years,” explains Glyn. “Bees need all the help and love they can get at the moment and without them pollinating our plants, weíd struggle to grow crops. They maintain a 34∞C core brood temperature (± 0.5∞C) even when the ambient temperature drops below freezing. Maintaining this temperature when a brood is present is a key indicator of colony health.”
The system has been running for eight years with minimal intervention and is powered by an old car battery and a small solar PV panel. “Raspberry Pi is perfect for getting projects like this up and running quickly and reliably using very little power,” says Glyn. He chose it because of the community behind the hardware. “That was one of Raspberry Pi’s greatest assets and what attracted me to the platform, as well as the competitive price point!”