Most beekeepers only know how their bees are doing when they take a look in the hive. He or she has the best intentions and want to take care of the bees. However, it is almost impossible not to disturb them when you peek into their home. The beekeepers will use smoke to calm the bees, opens the hive and looks at the frames. The interventions or actions are written down on a weathered piece of paper.
Now, imagine a different approach to beekeeping. One in which the bees are less often disturbed. One in which the beekeeper is better informed about the needs of a colony. An approach to beekeeping in which the beekeeper can open an app and has instant insight in the status of the colony of honeybees. A digital environment to register actions and observations. That is where BEEP come into play. BEEP supports beekeepers in taking care of their colonies with the BEEP app and the BEEP base.
The BEEP base
The BEEP base v3.4 is an automatic measurement system that you place under the hive. The built-in scale, temperature sensor and microphone turn on every 15 minutes to measure the values and to send the information to the BEEP app through LoRa. The built-in PCB is the 'computer' that regulates the measurements and sends the data. Thus, with the ready-to-use BEEP base you always have insights in the status of your bees.
Easy to install
The BEEP base is completely assembled. You can configure the BEEP base with the BEEP base app (iOS and Android) via Bluetooth. In the online helpdesk you find a detailed step-by-step manual that guides you through the configuration. If you have any questions, you can ask our team who is happy to help.
Wireless data transmission
The BEEP base collects data and sends it over the LoRa network to your BEEP app. You can access the data in the app on your phone, tablet or computer. There is a free LoRa network, called The Things Network (TTN). If TTN is not available at your apiary, you can install a gateway yourself to expand the network. There are also commercial LoRa providers that you could use, these differ per country. The LoRa frequency in the BEEP base V3.4 is compatible for the LoRa in Europe and Southern Africa. You can also directly collect the data with Bluetooth to the BEEP base app, and send it to the BEEP app. The base has 64 MB of memory, enough for two years of data storage.
Above: measurement data visible in the BEEP app of the BEEP base in combination with weather data at the location of the apiary. The vertical dotted line in the graphs are inspection moments. You can click on it in the BEEP app to view the inspection data.
A year of measurements with two AAA batteries
One of the unique features of the base, of which we are very proud, is the energy efficiency. When the base sends data every 15 minutes, the two AAA batteries will last a year. With a bigger interval, they can last even longer. That makes the BEEP base user friendly for the beekeeper.
Will my hive fit?
The BEEP base fits under all common hives like the Segeberger and Dadant. Smaller hives will always fit. New in the BEEP base V3.2 are the extendable legs. Even hives that are 51 cm broad, like the Dadant US, fit on top of the base. The base comes with clamps to attach it to the surface and to the hive. If you want, you can also belay the hive with a lashing strap (not included). Afraid for theft? Hide the base behind a self-made wooden border. Once you have registered your BEEP base in the app the base becomes unusable for others, unless you deregister it in your BEEP app.
The sensors (weight, temperature and sound) provide a range of possibilities for measurements on the hive. For example: how much stock do the bees collect, how much do they use, swarming, robbery, brood and the expansion and reduction thereof, flight activity. You can move the bases around multiple locations to compare the bees activities and availability of food per area.
Benefit from research
The BEEP foundation participates in multiple researches. All BEEP users benefit from this. Based on the outcomes of the research, the BEEP platform is improved by (free) upgrades of the BEEP base and/or app. Also bases that are already in use benefit, since you can update the firmware with the BEEP base app.
An example of current research is the interpretation of sound data, for example in a hive without a queen. Sound interpretation is very complex and thorough research helps to come to a reliable interpretation. At the moment you can look at raw, transformed (Fourier transform) data in the BEEP app.
On the BEEP platform you can contribute to existing research by sharing your data, you have to explicitly consent for this, and set up your own research.
Another unique factor of the BEEP foundation is that she shares what she designs. This means that you can access the code and drawings and work on them yourself. For example, you can add more temperature or humidity sensors (up to 9), loadcells, microphones and other sensors. Also, you can adjust the code and build new features in the app. By use of the API (Application Programming Interface), you can build your own data dashboard. Support documentation on the BEEP base and app are available.
- Dimensions: 480x390x68mm extendable to 510x390x68mm
- Weight sensor Bosche H40A (0-150kg +/-10 grams)
- Temperature sensor 1-Wire (DS18b20)
- Microphone for under the bottom board
- Microphone mini jack input with 4 pins
- 2x AAA battery holder with supplied Lithium batteries
- Push button to turn the base on and off
- Buzzer (beep!) for auditive feedback
- uFL SMT antenna
- I2C sensor screw terminals
- Processor: nRF 52840MHz ARM®️ CortexTM-M4
- 8MB flash memory (storage for approximately two years of measurement data)
- 2-Channel Weight Amplifier (HX711)
- Audio ADC (92 dBA SNR)
- Firmware updates via Bluetooth (BLE)
- Wireless connection via LoRa RFM95 868 MHz (EU)
- Size: 75x50x23