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Nearly there...

It has been all hands on deck here at Hivemind HQ and the first units of the new system are now in production! We are expecting to be able to deliver the first of the new systems the week of 18th November.

For those of you who have already ordered, particularly our Kickstarter backers, we do apologise for the delays from our initial delivery estimates and we are acutely aware than many of you are desperate to get the systems into the field for the season.

We hope that once you receive the units you will see how much design work has gone into the new system and we are confident that this is a superior product to our previous version.

In this process we have also learnt a lot and have some great new technology around the corner that we will be able to introduce in 2015. 

On the right is Stephen with the new satellite hub and Berwyn with the first of the new wireless scale PCBs fresh off the production line.

Under pressure

As part of Highly Accelerated Life Testing to ensure full robustness for the new system we have been brewing up our own electronic soup.

The idea behind this test is to raise the temperature and also pressure to check the waterproofing capability of some of the sealing materials used around the electronics.

The sealed and working electronics were placed in salty water in a pressure cooker with extra valves attached to allow us to literally pump up the pressure and also monitor what was going on.

The temperature and pressure were then raised and left for several days to force water into any available crack and crevice, all the while the electronics is reporting to the hub and sending data back to our servers. 

This test has allowed us to recreate in days some moisture issues seen after months or years in the field with the old system and this helps us verify the use of some new and improved materials in the new generation system. 

Research underway into Australian Manuka

The University of Technology in Sydney has recently started a five year project to research the properties of Australian Manuka type honeys.

The project will examine the 83 different species of Manuka trees found in Australia, analyse their properties and determine which produce honey appropriate for the medical industry.

We all know the impact that Manuka has had on the industry in New Zealand and we hope this research can lead to much greater returns for Australian beekeepers.

An ABC interview with lead researcher Dr Liz Harry can be found here. The research is being funded by RIRDIC and their press release here, is also very interesting.

From the Kiwi side of the Tasman Cliff Van Eaton's recently published book, Manuka: The Biography of an Extraordinary Honey, makes for excellent reading.