Our 2 OpenGreens rooftop gardens host 10 beehives. In summer, the 2 gardens are the home of aproximately 500.000 city honeybees. The Bee Monitoring project transforms the 2 rooftop gardens, which are located at about half a kilometer distance from each other, into communicating vessels and are the start of a green corridor in the city.

The hives in each of the gardens are populated with Apis mellifera carnica. Honeybees are a good bio-indicators. Biological indicators are species that are used to monitor the health of their ecosystem.
 They can tell us about the cumulative effects of different pollutants in the ecosystem. Therefore we study the honeybees : their behaviour, their distributed intelligence, their ecology and sociobiology.
By monitoring the bees and beehives with all kinds of sensors, we also study the colony as a community. Examinating the honeybee colony and its inner-workings also allows for an excellent introduction into non-biological subject areas, such as sociology, philosophy, engineering.
We document our research with all kind of media and we use the extracted data & information to make artworks based upon the bees’ behaviour over time. In this section we will handle all information related to bio-technology and honey bees.

During the second workshop week we installed 2 temperature sensors and a humidity sensor in the middle topbars of the brood chamber. There is also a combined temperature/humidity sensor hanging at the backside of the hive. The design of the bee monitoring system is able to log temperature and humidity inside the hive brood nest and measure temperature and humidity in the rooftop garden outside the hive.
All the sensors are connected to an arduino board, which is connected to the internet.
With this set up I can follow at any time the warming up and cooling down in the hive. Temperature and humidity inside and outside the hive are important indicators of hive health.
Some worker bees … (read more…)

After a few workshops at Okno to develop the observation system, I start to monitor the development of a colony from its swarming dd. april 26 2011. The bees start building a new nest in the green beehive that is set up for the monitoring. The hive is located in the okno garden, about 3 metres from the window of the studio. Two webcams are installed in the middle frame of the brood box , in a small plexi box. If the web cams would not be protected, the bees would cover them with propolis. The camera’s send a steady stream of images, 1 per minute, via a PC board installed in one of the honey supers of the hive. The PC is connected to the internet via an ethernet cable. The purpose is to … (read more…)

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 … (read more…)