What is going on inside?

This is one of my hives I have in my back yard. It was painted by my sister in Illinois and it has a story that go with it. If you see me around, ask and I will tell you.

Now, to the subject at hand. What is going on in this hive? Most everyone would say, get your bee jacket on and grab the hive tools and let’s go digging in the hive. I will explain my alternative to hive digging.

First, we want to see the amount of honey stores that are in the hive at this point. In order to check the weight, I have a key to that. You cannot see it but under the hive I have a scale that tells me the weight. And, that weight is checked every hour and uploaded to the cloud so I can look at it from anywhere I have internet service.

Look at the chart that is labeled Weight. The blue arrow in the chart shows that there was an increase in weight when I added a honey super. After the addition, the weight of the hive was 136 lbs. on July 6 and on July 22 the weight went up to 181 lbs. a difference of 45 lbs. I need to get in gear and put another super on the hive. The bees at the entrance are wanting work.
Let us see what more the charts can tell us about the hive.
This next chart is an estimation of Honey Production in the hive. This information is derived from the weight gain in the hive. It is really interesting to watch this. It is telling me get my extractor ready!
The next chart gives us a lot of information about the Temperatures with in the hive. Why is temperature monitoring important and what can you learn? The temperatures are taken from 4 sources. The broken line is taken from the weather service, the purple line is taken outside of the hive by the weight sensor, the reddish line is taking the temperature and humidity at the top of the upper brood box and the orange line only takes the temperature of the hive and monitors it for spikes in the temperature and this is used to help monitor the hive for swarming. As you can see from the temperatures, the brood chamber has been kept in the perfect range for brood. The red circles show quick changes in the hive temperature.
The last chart is telling me the Humidity of the hive and the weather service Humidity. The dash line is the weather service and the red line is the sensor in the hive. Why do I want to monitor the Humidity in the hive? That indicates the bees are controlling the humidity so the honey is being prepped for capping.
I have been using these sensors for several years. First, I would read them with my cell phone in the field. Then I moved to using devices that would link to a WIFI nearby to collect the information. This year I got a device that uses cell tower services to get the data to the cloud. I have 10 hives that have monitors in them and it helps to keep me informed about what is going on in the hives without the need to open them up. Personally, I think that it makes for happier bees!

For more information about the devices go to broodminder.com or @broodminder on Facebook.
Raymond Knapp

P.S. Today I got an email from the cloud that informed me that several of my hives had put up 30 lbs. of honey and I could check on them. When I went digging into the hives, I had a lot of burr comb above the honey super and all of the super was full of honey waiting to be capped. The monitors did their job and saved a lot of problems.

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