Precison Agriculture Series



Precision Beekeeping

Bees are the unlikely heroes of three quarters of world food supply and 1.4 billion farming jobs worldwide.  Bees are responsible for the pollination of 70% of crops that feed 90% of the world population today.   A typical bee farms has thousands of beehives, and it is difficult which hives require intervention.  There is a lot of ‘stress’ on the bees caused by frequent moves and intense management.   If the issues are left unattended whole colony may collapsed.  Colony collapse is the single biggest issues faced by the beekeepers.
Data Driven Beekeeping

New IoT Solutions can monitor the colonies in real-time and pinpoint which colonies require attention.  Our solution will show a dashboard on key measures:

  • Microclimate – temperature & humidity. If the temperature is high, this could mean that there is a lot of bee brood and an possible indication that the colony is growing. It can also mean that the hive is already full, and the bee colony therefore needs more space. In addition, when moisture levels are extremely high, it may lead to underdevelopment and ultimately to the death of bee.
  • Weight: if the weight decreases, this could mean that there is not enough honey and pollen, and the population is starving. It is also good to know when plenty of nectar is being brought in. The beekeeper can then estimate whether it is already time for a honey harvest. Beehives weight data also doubles as anti-theft measures (by human and animal).
  • Sound: The queen emits a sound at its own unique frequency, different from the rest of the bee colony. This makes it possible to measure whether the queen is still present. If the buzzing of the bees is at a lower frequency, it means that the bee colony is stress-free, when there are peaks in the frequency this indicates unrest.
  • Other data: vibration, CO2 and meteorological. The sensors can be placed at individual hives or collective of hives.  The identity and location of the hives will be marked on the Platform.  Accurate, real-time data collected through IoT monitoring can help beekeepers build a more finite understanding of bee behaviour within their colonies. By monitoring bee behaviour patterns in real time, beekeepers immediately can identify signs of common bee health problems, like the presence of bacteria and parasites.

When the beekeepers are not looking, the Platform will send out alerts, when the reading exceed the limits set by the beekeepers. The beekeeper can monitor several bee colonies on the go. This also saves on transport and relieves the span of control. This IoT solution will reduce labour costs, improve the honey yield, and reduce the risk of colony collapse (which is especially high for smaller farms).

The raw dat can also be extracted for analysis including using machine learning to derive new operation insights.  For example, which colonies is shrinking or growing, early sign of parasite and bacteria development, what are the drivers of colony collapse etc.

Precision beekeeping is using IoT technology for individual monitoring of the colonies to minimize consumption resources and maximize the productivity of bee. Contact Digital Knight today for a bespoke precision agriculture solution for your farm.