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Hive strength monitor: early-bird orders now!

We hope you have all had a good season and your bees are healthy and happy.

At the request of some researchers and pollination specialists, we have been working away on a new module which allows beekeepers to monitor the brood temperature and humidity as well as the number of bees flying at the hive entrance. We are referring to this as the Hive Strength Monitor and you can see the final prototype mounted on one of our test hives here on the right.

The module has a clip which allows you to hook it over the bottom brood box above the entrance. There is a sensor "looking" down at the doorway and keeping count of bees flying in and out. There is also a flat finger that protrudes into the brood chamber and sits just on top of the frames. On the end of this finger is a temperature and humidity sensor housed in an assembly that the bees will not propolise (we tried nearly 72 different versions).

See the sort of information the monitor provides in the charts below. It has already prevented one of our hives getting chilled brood.

We are about to build the first production units so if you would like to order some, please talk to us or your local distributor/agent below. It sends the data back via the existing Hivemind Satellite communication hub. We can set up different rates of sampling but the default is a reading every 3 hours, reported every 6 hours.

We also want to do a wifi version for hobbyists in the coming months. If there is demand for it, let us know -- we need a minimum threshold of customers to go ahead.

In NSW talk to Mark Page: mark.page@valley-industries.com.au, phone 0458 522 240

In QLD / VIC talk to Graham Beech: ntbees@gmail.com, phone 0437 179261

In West Australia talk to Myles Happ: myleshapp@gmail.com, phone 04 015 33336

Rest of the world, talk to Christian Walsh: christian@hivemind.co.nz, phone +64 21 846 445 

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The module gives you the ability to check the relative strength of two or more adjacent hives. The top solid line is the brood temperature, the middle dotted line is the brood humidity, and bottom dashed line shows the number of bees flying in or out of the hive. The green hive is obviously a stronger colony in this case.

The hive strength monitor can also be used in conjunction with our existing hive scale for a complete picture (weight in red above, ambient temp in light blue, bottom dashed orange line is number of bees flying and top orange solid line is brood temp). In this case the colony was struggling to maintain the brood temperature (the top orange solid line) as the autumn nights began to get cold (this was in Christchurch, NZ) and so we added insulation and closed off the mesh bottom sooner than we would have otherwise. The hive then recovered and is fine.

TEDx talk on medical honey

Dr Shaun Holt from HoneyLab gave a really interesting talk on medical honey at the recent TEDx Wellington event.

You can see the talk here and learn about how honey is beign used as a treatment for rosacea, acne, cold sores as well as wound treatments and how it can help with the very significant issue of antibiotic resistance.