Reimagining Beekeeping with a Data-Driven Twist

May 8 2014

When we say that Temboo is a tool for building the Internet of Everything, we really mean everything—we’ve seen members of the Temboo community connect all sorts of sensors, noisemakers, lights, apps, and services to one another to create something new using our library.  Now, thanks to the work being done by a student group at Yale University, we can add a few thousand bees to our list of Temboo-connected objects.  Yale Bee Space is a group of undergraduate apiarists who are designing smart beehives that they think will fundamentally change the way that bees are kept, and maybe avert ecological disaster in the process.

Glen Meyerowitz, one of the founders of the group, explained to us that honeybee populations in the United States have been collapsing without explanation, and that although a number of theories exist regarding why this might be happening, there is very little data available to shed light on the problem.  Since bees play a major role in pollinating plants, collapsing colonies are causing environmental problems that go beyond just honey shortages.  Enter Glen and the other members of Yale Bee Space, who decided to update the 19th century hive models that are still used by most beekeepers by installing solar-powered sound, humidity, temperature, and weight sensors in them.  Their hope is that by collecting and analyzing data from numerous connected hives, they might be able to identify the sources of the colony collapse problem.

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The hives, which were designed and built by the members of the group, use Arduino Pro Minis and Xbee units to gather data from the sensors and transmit the information to a coordinating unit that is hooked up to an Arduino Yún.  The data is then compiled in a spreadsheet using Temboo’s Google Spreadsheets Choreos.  Early returns have been promising, and the group is looking forward to expanding their operation with more hives and more data.  Take a deeper look at what they’re doing on their website, and if you’re interested, get in touch!  They’d love to connect with anyone who wants to learn more or work with them on the project.  We at Temboo certainly found their work to be fascinating, and are glad to be a part of it!

If you’re making something similarly cool with Temboo, let us know by emailing us at hey@temboo.com.  We always love to hear about innovative projects like Yale Bee Space’s that put Temboo to good use!

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When we say that Temboo is a tool for building the Internet of Everything, we really mean everything—we’ve seen members of the Temboo community connect all sorts of sensors, noisemakers, lights, apps, and services to one another to create something new using our library.  Now, thanks to the work being done by a student group […]