ASHBURN, VA — It’s been a while since the last time we posted about the effort at Nova Labs to collect data about local bee hives. Since then, the Arduino-based bee hive monitoring rig has been updated to record temperatures from 20 different locations in a single hive. With this new system, we collected over 1.8 million data points over the course of a year.
Nova Labs members Konrad and Ted teamed up to create the initial test rig, simulating temperature changes with a heat gun, and watching the data rendered in real-time using Processing:
Konrad then worked with a local Bee Keeping Club to deploy the rig to a new bee hive, and collected temperatures for nearly a year. Since the logger is solar powered and weatherproofed, it was able to withstand the harsh NOVA winter.
Analyzing the huge amount of data that we collected has been challenging, but we finally have what may be the world’s first 3d temperature gradient visualization for an active bee hive. In the following video you can watch as the bees maintain a constant temperature near the queen while the rest of the hive follows a day/night cycle.
To create this visualization, the 3d temperature lattice was expanded into a voxel space using 2nd order spline interpolation, and then rendered using VTK’s volume ray casting technique.
You can read more about this project on Konrad’s blog. In future improvements, we hope to include remote telemetry for real-time hive monitoring.