Today, for the first time in my life, I supported a crowd-funding campaign. The object that caught my attention was the BroodMinder, invented by Richard Morris and his team. The device is a temperature and humidity logger designed specifically for bee hives. The slender device, Model 42, slips under the inner cover and rests atop the brood frames.
From there, the device sends wireless updates to your Apple or Android phones and tablets, so you you can monitor hive health without opening your hive in freezing temperatures.
Here’s a description from the BroodMinder website:
Designed to last two years on a single coin cell, the BroodMinder provides continuous service throughout the winter “no matter how endless it may seem” eliminating the need to open the hive.
Accurate to 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit and 3% relative humidity, you will notice the slightest of changes, allowing intervention before it is too late.
The BroodMinder logs and stores measurements once every hour for the entire two years. This means that at any time, you can retrieve and analyze the data, thus allowing for early preparation for next season.
I became very interested in hive temperature and humidity last year. You may recall some of the posts I wrote that highlighted the work of other beekeepers, including Bill Reynolds and Kevin O’Donnell. I learned a lot about what goes on in a winter hive by examining their findings, and it piqued my curiosity.
This unit uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and Texas Instrument’s latest temperature/humidity chip. It is housed in a 1/4″ bee-resistant wrapper, and records data about the heat and humidity that rises to the top of the hive.
Do I think this is essential beekeeping equipment? No. Do I think it’s totally fascinating? Yes! Right now, the BroodMinder is on Indiegogo and a $40 pledge (plus shipping) will reserve one for you. After the first 500 units are spoken for, the price goes up to $60.
If you decide to spring for the BroodMinder, let me know. I will set up a page here on Honey Bee Suite where we can post results and compare notes. I think it will be fun.
Honey Bee Suite