Network Of Sensor-Packed Beehives To Monitor Colony Collapse

Katie Collins | Wired | April 16, 2014

The mysterious colony collapse disorder has fast been reducing the global honeybee population over the past few years, and scientists are yet to figure out exactly why. Now the Open Source Beehive project is hoping to make citizen scientists of us all by encouraging us to build or purchase open-source beehives that can be used by people to track the health of their colonies in an effort to get to the root of the problem.

A group of ecologists, beekeepers, makers, engineers, and open source advocates from across three countries have come together to form the project team in the hope of figuring out why our bees are perishing. Between them they have created two different downloadable, printable beehives that aim to make beekeeping easier and more accessible for everyone. Both of the hives, dubbed the Colorado Top Bar and the Barcelona Warré, can be created using high-end CNC equipment in less than 40 minutes.

The project is just entering the final stage of its Indiegogo campaign, which has already raised $52,868 (£31,000) -- two and half time its $20,000 (£11,000) goal. These funds will be put towards the development of a robust, field-ready open-source sensor package, which will integrate the hives with the SmartCitizen platform. [...]