Beehive sensor, what hardware?


I'd like to build a solar beehive sensor.

Would include ;

Temp x 3
Sound level

I'm thinking Lopy would be a good choice? Which sensors should I get? Any other hardware needed?


Actually thinking about it I don't necessarily want to build this, I actually just want to use it.

Is there anyone out there interested in putting this together and giving me a price for it? I'd want the code to be Foss.

(Tom Vijlbrief) #3

You will have to consider that you will still need to take care of the weatherproof housing for the electronics and sensors yourself.

Is a LORA gateway available in your area?

I think your best option is to find someone in your area (where do you live?) with microcontroller expertise to build this with you.

It is an interesting project.


remote weight measurement of the hive (how much honey is there)


Thanks for this, hive weight would be a nice to have, but in iteration one would like to keep it as simple as possible .

I live a couple of miles from Bristol where we have put up two ttn gateways on towerblocks and one on the university. I hope to be in range.

I take the point about finding someone local, but this is essentially a software problem? I'm comfortable waterproofing stuff, flashing firmware etc.

(Tom Vijlbrief) #6

If you're comfortable with soldering and wiring the sensors, solar panel, etc. then the software is not hard too.

I could adapt my software setup:

for the sensors you like and test it locally.

First step (for you) would be to get an instance without sensors up and running, and connect it to a gateway.

Than the sensors can be attached and the sketch can be adapted to read them.

How do you plan to present the data?
Are you comfortable with reading it from the internet with MQTT?

I still think that local assistance is important but I can help you with software issues.


and don't forget this 'hardware' :wink:


Thanks, knowing there is a bit of support available is probably enough to give me the confidence to do it.

I'd still like some advice on the best (as in cheapest but functional and reasonably accurate) sensors to get?

On this thread @BoRRoZ suggested the circuit playground? Does that simplify my use case for a newbie? Or is it just another thing to fail?




forget that.. nothing to do with your 'beehive' plans.

best for you to buy stock products I think, so a node with a temp & humidity sensor and a build gateway.
even the beehive itself you can find on ebay.

and tomtor offered to help with the software / dashboard :wink:

also I have the impression your not completely 'honest' meaning that you are involved in a group developping bee stuff.. and you are not a complete beginner .. am I right ?

Hostabee has developed a connected Tracker that allows beekeepers to remotely monitor the lifecycle of a hive and its bees. With hostabee, beekeepers can optimize their time - avoid needless visits and increase the effectiveness of their interventions. Hostabee tracker uses the ‘LoRa’ network for long-range connected objects. I'm looking for LoRaWa...

(Tom Vijlbrief) #10

Ds18b20 sensors in the weather proof housing with cable are a good option, certainly if you need 3.

I don't have experience with outdoor humidity sensors (or is a hive indoor) :slight_smile:

Dht22 sensors are a non expensive option, which also include a temperature sensor, but they are for indoor use. It could work in your usecase if they are mounted in a protected area.

(Peter Kmet) #11

Maybe have a look at I believe it is LoRa-enabled and bundled with humidity/temp sensors to be built-into the hive. To check vital signs of the colony.

(Thomas) #12

I made my own hardware (without solar panel) making our beehives smarter. It's still a prototype and it's LoRaWAN ready! Still needs some hardware upgrades & software changes to connect it over LoRaWAN (no TTN coverage at home :worried:) but the first prototype has been running on a set of AAA batteries in a private sensor network for over 2 months now without issues. I'm only logging temperature (outside, 2x inside) & humidity (inside & outside) at the moment.

More tech info about the "BeeMonitor" here:


I already have three hives full of bees, its the monitoring that's interesting to me

Indeed it's great to get support from the community. I'm no coder, I've run linux for a few years on my laptop, run a couple of servers and i've written a few clunky bash scripts. If it's ready for people at that skill level then great.

I've used Graphna a bit when playing with an aquaponics monitor


I'm not in any group developing bee stuff.

I'm aware of:

  • OS beehives - great project, but written for higher bandwidth, their audio analysis/ swarm warning stuff would be really interesting to get running locally, and just sending the alerts over the network.

  • Hiveeyes Great looking FOSS project, interested in LoRaWAN but again written with bigger bandwidth available

  • Arnia (And other similar commerical offerings) Functional, works out of the box, but Wifi and £expensive

  • Hostabee Cheaper commericial offering, (80 euro) but not FOSS which is important to me


Does this si7021 offer any advantage over Dht22? I'd rather spend a bit more and get something robust. Combining the temp/humidity appeals as theres less wires getting in the way.


ok sorry Sam, your name popped up (Rossiter).

anyway.. what about this beehive dashboard

(Tom Vijlbrief) #16

@sam-1 states "indoor weather stations". So no obvious advantage over dht22.

Reading the dht22 spec sheet they don't explicitly mention indoor usage, only that dew might effect the reading. Dht22 looks like the best bet, it is also a bit more expensive than the si7021 if that improves your confidence :slight_smile:

(Tom Vijlbrief) #17

@eTh0maz Looks good!

In your blog you don't mention the microcontroller used? Do you plan on publishing the hard- software designs on

The temp sensors look like ds18b20 (> 3V operation), but you state operation till 1.8V.

@sam-1 how about joining efforts with @eTh0maz ?


made my own hardware (without solar panel) making our beehives smarter. It's still a prototype and it's LoRaWAN ready!

Looks great! Did you get the boards made up? Have you got any left?


Yes very interested in where @eTh0maz has got to, and on collaborating..

As an aside I spotted the Openbeehive project Seem to be using a BME280 which adds atmospheric pressure into the mix.


Nice. Looks good. Eventually I'd like to be getting mobile notifications, but a web dashboard would be a really good first step.

I guess it's worth saying where I'd like to end up eventually.

1) Completely FOSS stack (possibly with Optional closed source/ SASS graphing)
2) LoRa via TTN
3) £free online graphing and recording for end-users, eg Thingspeak or Opensensors?
4) Open data accessible to researchers
5) Mobile phone notifications on swarm/ low temp alert
6) Local Audio analysis and swarm alerts

I don't mind using proprietry services, but I want an automated copy of my data at a minumum.

The various projects seem to have different parts of this

Os beehives seem to have gone furthest with audio analysis and mobile app (but I think they use closed source Particle as their backend, and particle doesn't interface with LoRa?)

Hiveeyes seem to have a complete FOSS backend but again not set up for LoRa.

Maybe it's a case of pushing data to both thingspeak and Opensensors?

Opensensors to give the Open data/ Open stack angle, and Thingspeak as backup/redundancy and mobile alerting

Just thinking out loud here, realise not entirely coherent.