The enhanced beehive is a gateway to 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 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.
moviefragment 01: bee swarm starting to build their nest – infrared camera, filmed inside the hive
moviefragment 02: honey bees storing honey, filmed through hive observation window – close
The ecysystem of the hive and garden is monitored by many measurement systems on its biotic and abiotic elements.
Two webcams, equipped with infrared leds, make it possible to film in the hive in the dark. They monitor the behaviour of bees (and their movements over the frames) in the hive.
Since the hive was populated with the swarm on may 4th 2011 (http://opengreens.okno.be/bee_colony_timeline.php?id=437), the 2 webcams record at 15 fps the life in the hive: the comb building, the bees’ movements and action.
In the top of the frames (in the hive body box) there are 3 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 immediate 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: http://188.8.131.52:8091/?action=stream.
The data from the different sensors are (via the arduino) also stored on the internet.
The ascellus, the aphids and the nasturtium together form a biotic community as they all are interacting organisms living together in one habitat or biotope (the nasturtium that is still alive and kicking).
Together with the rest of the above pictures (the bees, the other plants in the garden), the wind, the soil, the air, the sun and/or temperature, the rain … they form the ecosystem of the rooftop garden. it is a combination of the biotic and a-biotic elements of that place.
The more diversity we have in the ecosystem, the less fragile or vulnerable it is.
During Changing Tents, I’ve got from a visitor the link to this Avedon picture and the accompanying story in exchange for a pot of urban honey:
Ron Fischer was born and raised in Oak Park, Ill., and spent much of his adult life working as an accountant for various high-powered financial services companies.
But always in the background was the pull of his grandparents’ 1844 farm between Orion and Coal Valley, Ill., the fifth-oldest in Rock Island County.
He spent a lot of time there as a child, developing an interest in gardening, and as an adult he staked out a plot of his own where he planted an orchard and berry patches of all kinds. He worked in the Chicago area, but he returned to the farm for his hobby.
In 1970, he bought a honeybee hive because his berries and fruits needed bees for pollination and, having “no idea how to keep bees at all,” he took courses from the University of Illinois and Ohio State University.
Fischer’s life has now come full circle. In 2005, he bought 60 acres of the farm and moved there. Now he is the expert, teaching others about beekeeping.
Flanders 1500’s. The hives were tall straw skeps with a flight entrance well above the base. The skeps were housed in a thatched shelter near the farm buildings. Pigs and poultry were kept near the hives. Women, children and men were involved in beekeeping activities and all wore protective clothing. Similar hives were used up to the 1900’s. (The world history of beekeeping, by Eva Crane).
A Flemish beekeeping scene, by Pieter Breughel the Elder, 1565.
It has been suggested that the men might be stealing the hives.
Meanwhile, wintertime 2010 on a Brussels rooftop garden.
Let’s hope the colonies survive!
Een workshop in 9 voordrachtreeksen van de Imkersbond Brussel. Alle facetten van het beheer van een bijenvolk worden uitgelegd, vanaf de zwerm over de koningin, haar eileg, het broed , de werksters en de mannelijke bijen -de darren-, tot terug naar de zwerm.
adres : CC De Meent, Gemeenveld 34 Alsemberg 1652.
17/10/09 : bestuiving in open lucht (Dr. Michel Asperges)
21/11/09 : de evolutie van de bijenkast (Aloys van den Akker)
19/12/09 : bijenrassen (Roland Vaes)
16/01/10 : bijenwas, een architecturaal verhaal (Roland Vaes)
20/02/10 : evolutie van varroa – inzicht in bijenziekten (Leo Van Malderen)
20/03/10 : imkeren het hele jaar door (Frans Daems)
17/04/10 : moerteelt en zwermcel (Gaston van de Vloet)
15/05/10 : koninginnebrij (Gaston van de Vloet)
19/06/10 : zwermen – kunstzwerm (Aloys van den Akker)
Download here the interview with Aloys van den Akker, lifelong beekeeper and organizer of the workshops.