An instrumented hive allowing the real time follow-up of a colony of bees.

Project Description

Superbeelive is an observation hive combining both live broadcasting (and recording) of a superorganism behaviour (at the individual scale – the bee - and at the bee colony scale) and measurements of several physical parameters (temperature, humidity) thanks to a specially designed device based on the introduction of electronic cards in-between the wax combs.

Video cameras recording the comb on both sides will give us the required information about the changes in the behaviour of the colony. Originally, the device enables us to understand the link between the superorganism behaviour and the external physical parameters.

Developing Superbeelive has gathered students from IUT Béziers around the sensors development and the broadcasting. The collected data (video and measurements) are designed to be available for both scientists and a larger audience including teachers, students. The Hives are installed at the CNRS Delegation of Montpellier.

Video tests for 1000 FPS acquisition, June 2018.

The Superbeelive hive we are developping is a flat-shaped hive composed of instrumented modules :

Prototype version of the hive and Superbeelive partners.

The hive is composed of several modules, each one being independant from the others and feeding the database with the data collected. We aim at monitoring the superorganism ( the whole hive ) from its birth until its death, recording as much data as we can.

Our work

My technical contribution to this project is three fold:

- Developpment of electronic cards for environmental parameters measurement.
- Vision-based behaviour recognition in real time.
- Multimodal recording and analysis

The electronic cards are based on an STM32 microcontroleur, and the data collected is transferred through TCP/IP. The parameters we wish to record are the following:

- Temperature ( measurement every 2cm on each side of the modules )
- Sound
- Vibrations
- Relative humidity
- Dew point
- Bees count (input and output)

There are also two cameras per module ( one on each side of the comb ) and a stereo pair at the entrance of the hive ( to monitor bees and predators activities ).

In this project, we aim at detecting specific behaviours of the bees based on a multimodal approach. This tool will provide biologists with a new and realtime insight of the superorganism and the impact of environmental factors.

Project details:


- Prototype funded by the NUMEV Labex
- Project funded by the I-SITE MUSE

Project partners:

- IBMM (coordinator)
- Univ of Wageningen (Netherlands)