The digital apian laboratory on the roof of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering can be followed

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The faculty website offers a view of smart beehives on top of the faculty building. In the coming days, the faculty will launch a series of quizzes to raise public awareness of the life of bees.

As of today, it is possible to watch what's happening in the smart rooftop bee lab on the website of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. There are two cameras monitoring the beehives and thanks to accurate long-term measuring and the use of artificial intelligence, we can learn about the life of bees in more detail. The activity around and inside the beehives is captured by one camera facing the front of the beehive, while the other one monitors what happens on the bottom board of one of the beehives, which is where pieces of crumpled wax and also varroa mites, the cause of varroasis, which can wipe out whole bee colonies, fall. Artificial intelligence can identify the parasites and can determine their daily quantity. Monitoring the beehive's bottom board can lead to the uncovering of an infection among bees.

There is also a microphone monitoring the beehives and recording the frequency of the buzzing of the bees, which varies based on whether the bees are getting ready to swarm, are hungry, have lost their queen bee and other situations, which the computer system can identify. Thanks to tensometric weight sensors, the beehives are also regularly weighed, which allows us to monitor whether or not the bees are collecting nectar or whether they have swarmed out. The smart beehive also takes both the external temperature as well as the temperature inside the cluster which the bees form on cold winter days. According to temperature readings, it is possible to deduce what is happening inside the beehive, e.g., whether the bees are brooding. 

The data obtained will provide an opportunity for students to write Bachelor or Master’s theses, in which thanks to the IoT laboratory of the UWB Center for Information and Computer Technology they can develop applications of smart technologies with respect to beehive monitoring.

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