Smart Beehive

Smart Beehive

The Paladin team did an incredible job of developing Smart Hive technology for us. From concept through prototype production, Paladin was invested in the success of the project, easy to work with, and impressively competent. They proactively identified development issues and provided solutions.

Dick Rogers, Principal Scientist, Bayer Crop Science

Smart Beehive

Bayer AG is a German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company and one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Headquartered in Leverkusen, Bayer’s areas of business include pharmaceuticals; consumer healthcare products, agricultural chemicals, seeds and biotechnology products.

Bayer Crop Science, the agricultural division Bayer AG, provides tailored solutions for farmers to plant, grow and protect their harvests using less land, water and energy.

On April 15, 2014 Bayer CropScience opened its North American Bee Care Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C. The 6,000-square-foot, $2.4 million center supports scientific research, product stewardship and sustainable agriculture to protect and improve honey bee health, as well as educating stakeholders and the general public about the beneficial insects.

Project Description

The project was to develop a sophisticated “smart hive” system to collect high-quality beehive time-series data. The device collected weight, temperature, humidity, and eventually expanded to include acoustic data. The device needed to collect the data and transmit it wirelessly via wifi, cellular, or satellite to a data logging website for research and display of the live-streamed data. As we worked with Bayer Crop Science, we were ultimately invited to provide a guest speaker to the Western Apicultural Society WAS – 2014 – 2nd Intl. Workshop on Hive and Bee Monitoring, and we presented as a subject matter expert on smart hive technology.

Paladin Robotics excels and Research and Development projects. We have the expertise, and the capability to design, develop, and manufacture production-ready products. Our development team for this project was comprised of experts in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, mechatronics, software engineering, and beekeeping, working in conjunction with Bayer Crop Science’s expertise in beekeeping and entomology.

We provided research and development, product strategy and prototype development.

What We Did

We ended up doing multiple projects for Bayer Crop Science. Aside from the Smart Hive, we also provided business analysis and developed a Supplier Relationship Model.

Supplier Relationship Model

Developed a model to define and manage supplier relationships. The model focused on reducing shipping costs and increasing raw material quality in two of Bayer Crop Sciences product categories totaling millions spent annually.

Smart Hive

This was a product-focused research and development project. Over the course of the project, we provided:

  • Research
  • Initial Requirements Development
  • Specification Development
  • Component Selection
  • Detailed Project Plan
  • Initial BOM estimates
  • Project Management
  • Prototyping
  • Custom PCB hardware design, manufacture and assembly.
  • Custom enclosure design, manufacture and assembly
  • Software development.
  • Data logging server development using RESTful APIs
  • Webpage development
  • Installation

We started the project with nothing more than a concept. We quickly pulled together a proof-of-concept prototype with off-the-shelf hardware, and custom software to get things moving. Over the course of the next few months, we designed and produced custom PCBs. Over the course of the next few months, we built a proof-of-concept prototype, a technology demonstrator prototype, and ultimately a functional prototype.

Over the course of the project, we built the prototype and the website. We also developed expertise in beekeeping and in analyzing bee health data. We developed time-series plotting capability, but we also developed spectral analysis tools for analyzing sound from the beehive, and a temperature sensor-grid to create a heatmap of the bee colony.