Monitoring of honey bee colonies and hive conditions using digital sensor technology is a promising new way to manage beehives. Digital sensors provide timelines about what is happening inside a hive and alert beekeepers when there are changes that may impact the hive.
The Bayer Bee Care Center demonstration hives take advantage of this technology. The hives sit on scales that have sensors both inside and outside the hive to allow for remote monitoring. Data from the hive is uploaded and displayed on a monitor inside the Center. Sensors monitor not only hive weight, but temperatures and humidity inside the hive, which can help make inferences regarding foraging activity, colony development, brood state and queen status.
Bayer “Smart Hives” will allow for better assessment of stock improvement programs aimed at developing queen rearing capabilities and methods for improving bee stock through the introduction of desirable characteristics.
Bayer “Smart Hives” have been installed in 10 locations including North Carolina, California, Indiana, New York and Ontario.