Hello Beeks and beyond!
Hive Scientia has been in development since Oct 2021 although there was a winter hiatus when nothing happened. The motivation for the system stemmed from wanting to better understand the differences between natural and thin-wall hives. I wanted actual numerical data to support the generally agreed hypothesis of Natural Beekeepers.
Having had a personal weather station (PWS) for some years I was also keen to develop a platform that could replace this function when it finally gives up (its trying really hard to do this). In the past I’d also played with writing monitoring systems for green houses and poly tunnels so there was a desire for any system to be adaptable.
I envisage each station (maybe a location, apiary or hive) having an external sensor node and then one or more internal nodes. In the case of a hive being studied for the purposes of science you may have two or three internal nodes. For a beekeeper a single internal node on each hive with a single external node at the apiary may be sufficient. For more information on the sensors go to the Electronics page
My initial design structure was heavily influenced by WeeWX which for close to 10 years has been my software of choice for the weather station. Weewx is written in Python and runs on a Raspberry PI with a config and templating system that is extendable by users.
Below are some prototype enclosures and the initial test station I used to get a basic system working.
Since April 2022, I have been focused on getting a working prototype together so I can be collecting data – an essential requirement to writing better data analysis functions and output and as a means to test the capabilities of the NodeMCU, power system and sensors.
My general thought is that I would like the project to be open-source so that anyone can access the software and enclosure design files. Currently, all the micro-electric hardware is readily available from Amazon, PiHut and Pimoroni and this means the project lends itself towards the open source and maker market. I will make available for purchase ready-printed enclosures, PCBs and populated PCBs etc. for anyone who wants to avoid the assembly. In other words there will be an open-source option for people wanting to make their own and a ready-to-play kit available for purchase.