iTRUBEC

IoT for Bees

What is it?

iTRUBEC is connecting modern technology with traditions – Internet of Things (IoT) with beekeeping. We are monitoring bees using modern devices with different sensors and we are also fighting with Varroa Destructor by controlled heating of beehive.

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NXP Rapid IoT – beehive monitor with theft alert (concept)

A device which allows beekeepers to remotely monitor their beehives and send an alert in case of theft. Beehives are very often located at position where there is no electricity available (nothing to say about WiFi connectivity) so it is not easy to establish some kind of reliable remote monitoring with low power requirements. Using NXP Rapid IoT Development Kit I wanted to test the concept of monitoring the beehive over SigFox network.

There are two main areas I would like to cover:

  • Temperature monitoring - as temperature tells you the information about the health of bees
  • Theft protection - as beehives are too often a subject of robbery and early warning could save not only the harvest but also bees and a beehive itself.

This project including the source code could be found on Hackster.io - https://www.hackster.io/vilemkuzel/iot-for-bees-beekeepers-a-bit-too-e2595d - as a submission to Revolutionize Your IoT Prototyping contest.

Let's have a look at the data collected by this concept/prototype: 

Measured data

Temperatures table

Each time a monitoring message is captured (each 15 minutes) the value is stored in the database so we have an instant overview about the temperature inside the beehive.

TimeTemp [°C]
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Temperatures chart

Data could be visualized by a chart too.

Theft Alerts log

In case the Theft Alert event is triggered (the movement of beehive was detected) a special message is immediatelly send over SigFox network to alert the beekeeper.

Time
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How does it work?

Device monitors the beehive and periodically (aproximately each 15 minutes) sends the data measured over the SigFox network.

In case the motion is detected device starts with beeping, red LED shines and special alert message is immediately sent over the SigFox network to notify the beekeeper.

After few seconds without any motion detected is device reset to its normal state and watches for another alert. The temperature monitoring continues.

In this concept is the SigFox message always just one float (32) number which ise received and shown in SigFox Backend.

As I am experimenting with similar solutions on my own server I decided not to use the NXP/Atmosphere cloud but instead set up a custom callback to iTRUBEC server.

Callback is captured at iTRUBEC server by a simple REST API written in PHP which analyses the value, determines if it is some data or an alert, stores data in local DB and (in case of an alert) notifies the beekeeper via SMS.

To send the SMS an E-mail to SMS service is used. The latency (time between the alert is triggered and the SMS received) observed is just a few seconds.

It sends an e-mail alert as a copy of the original message too.

The data is instantly visualised on iTRUBEC server as you can see above.

Possible improvements

  • Concept monitors temperature only - it could be easily extended with another data like humidity, atmospherical pressure, the level of sunshine, second (outside the beehive) temperature, etc.
  • There is an extra SigFox message for each mesurement. It is possible to combine (code) more values into one SigFox message to save the limited amount of messages.
  • If extended with GPS module it could monitor the beehive position (especially after Theft Alert is triggered).

Video