Category Archives: biosensors


Further development: a bio degradable organic hive design and biosensors powered by sustainable energy to develop a beehive that is at the one hand a sensor of the environment (pollution, nectar, pollen analyses) and at the other hand a non-intrusive bee monitoring system (in times of Colony Collapse Disorder). Continue reading


I am frustrated by the fact that I never get a realistic notification of the temperature in the broodox during the wintermonths. The temperature sensors are integrated in the topbars from the hive, where the temperature is much lower than in the bee-nucleus. Together with Peter Hanappe from Sony Research Lab we research during the La Molina sessions how to develop a tool that can display the temperature in the broodbox in a more correct way. We will build a beebox (format Warré Hive) with 8 frames, and add 8 thermistors to every frame. This should give us a more accurate temperature throughout the box. Continue reading


The Warré-model is by definition a hive-model for sustainable beekeeping, as the bee colony can develop at its own pace instead of being controlled by the beekeeper (nadiring the boxes, no queen excluders, ‘optimal’ temperature regulation). The Warré model is not the ‘best commercial model’ concerning the amount of honey production, but it is sustainable as it does not stress the bees with ‘overproduction’ (honey taken away by the beekeeper). The hives in the network are by preference on different locations, so that they can give us information on the bee colonies at these different locations (city, rural, …) and eco-information on the environment they are set in. Goal is to compare the collected data sets of these locations, as well as the wellbeing and behaviour of the bee colonies.
For now, we have basic sensors (t° in/out, humidity) in a hive Barcelona, and in several hives in Brussels, on different locations:
⇒ we can send the sensor data of these 3 hives to the database that Peter has set up
⇒ on the t° data values we should do a computational correction, as the t° sensors are located only on 1 spot in the hive, and the values they give are thus very influenced by the outside t° values.

To have a better read-out of the t° in the hives, we are developing the 3D t° sensing system with the thermistors. If this works out, it should provide us with the correct t° values in the hive (box), as well as with the behaviour (movement) of the bees inside of this monitored box.
The new 3D system should give a detailed read out, but it is also very complex and time consuming to install. Every box has 8 frames x 8 thermistors, this makes 64 thermistors per hive-box to be soldered/attached to the frames, + connected to the PCB board. Every box has its own PCB board. Knowing that 1 (Warré) hive has an average setup of 4 boxes, we can calculate that it will be a huge amount of work to monitor the t° in 3D in the hive with this system.

We are finalising the first ‘bee-box and’ (3D temperature sensing) and we’ll install it in the Brussels (so-on) Warré hive and connect it to the internet to have a daily monitoring, as well on line (data values and 3D visualisation) as physically (control the hive regularly). Once we know that the 3D thermistor t° system is working as we expected, we can extend it to the other hives. Therefore we should make a subcontracting working plan, as there is a lot of physical work connected to it and most of us don’t have the time to do it. We should monitor the bees like this for a season, at least through winter till next spring’s development, and work with the data and see how correct they are. While monitoring the system like this for a while, with the findings and results, we should work on a simplification of the monitoring model so that we can adapt the monitoring to later (organic) models of intelligent beehives.


The enhanced beehive is a gateway to monitor a honeybee colony and its environment. Numerous possibilities for observing the bees’ behavior and important measured values from within the hive are provided as well as measuring data for the climate, soil, and vegetation in the honeybee colony’s direct environment. Storing all of the data over a period of several months allows not alone a very well detailed observation but also the ability to discover and follow long-term trends of complex relations between the superorganism and its environment.
The life in and around the hive is monitored by many measurement systems. Two webcams , equipped with infrared leds, make it possible to see in the dark. The monitor the movement of bees over the frames in the hive.
Since the hive was populated with a swarm (may 4th 2011), the 2 webcams record at 15 fps the life in the hive. Comb building, movements and action. In the top of the frames (in the hive body) there are 2 temperature sensors capturing the temperature in the beehive, as well as a CO2 sensor and a sensor recording the humidity in the hive.
Outside of the hive, the temperature and the humidity of the direct environment are also measured.
The webcams are connected to a PC board that is configured as a streaming server. It makes the images of the hive in real time available on the internet. The data from the different sensors are also logged and available in realtime.


Bee Monitoring Research in the OpenGreens. We organise a series of workshops to develop non-intrusive bee monitoring systems.
Bee Monitoring Workshops is a series of workshops in which we try to understand the distributed intelligence of honey bee colonies : their behaviour, ecology and sociobiology. By monitoring the bees and beehives with all kinds of sensors, we study the colony (as a community) and its relation to the urban environment. We will document this research with all kind of media (photo, film, audio, text, code) and we will use the extracted data to make artworks based upon the bees behaviour over time. We try to connect nature and technology in a new relationship of interconnections.
During 2 workshops in february and march 2011, we discussed a digital survey of the honeybees.
Beekeepers, artists and engineers joined their knowledge to come up with a design that offers a realtime, online monitoring of the beehive.
A swarm was put into the hive on may 4th 2011. Since than 2 webcams record the colonies’ behaviour. Simultaneously the data of inside and outside temperature, humidity and Co2 level are logged.