How to join

Become part of the swarm

Join the groundbreaking community project. Set Reminder

The beehyve

A groundbreaking crowd-project by PLCnext Technology

If you always wanted to be part of a leading, innovative tech community, this is your chance. Join the Beehyve and become part of this groundbreaking project. We will make innovation happen and see real results. You can connect with likeminded experts and expand your skills. Use your passion for technology to create something sustainable. Whether technical specialist, programmers, data or bee-lovers. Everyone is welcome.

Submit your project

From ideas to projects
Whether you are a technical specialist, programmer, data or bee-lovers – Everyone can join.

We’ll use Slack as our collaboration platform to open the Beehyve to as many people as possible. Anyone is welcome to enter ideas there, ask a question, or comment on other ideas. We want to make this a place where experts from any field meet and your ideas and projects can florish. Also a team of PLCnext Technology and bee experts will be there to answer questions and guide you if needed.

Test and consolidate your ideas with the community. Once you are seattled on an idea, you and your team can submit it as a project. For this, we need the following information from you:

  • Name of team members
  • Name of company or university (if applicable)
  • Project idea
  • Project goal
  • How do you want to technically realize your project idea? (hardware, software, tools, Programming language, etc.)

Our team of PLCnext Technology and bee experts will then be checking your submission, among others things, towards already existing projects and duplications, technical feasibility, and innovative strength. If necessary, we will consult with your team again in case of questions or open points. Ideally your project will be approved by us and you can move on to the implementation phase.

Once your project is approved by us, you can continue further develop your project which can also be done in Slack. We will be following your progress and highlight it on the website, our social media, and other media channels.

Please note, that the transition from idea to project is fluid. There is no day x until which ideas are submitted and then it is decided at once what becomes a project and what not. This means that projects are continuously released, so that you can already continue working.

Under construction

Coming soon

Dear PLCnext Community, we are currently working hard to make Slack available to you. Very soon you will be able to discuss ideas and submit your projects there. Until then, we hope for a little patience. In the meantime, sign up for the Buzzletter to be notified when Slack is available.

Bees with barrier tape

Simulation or prototype

How can you set up your project?
PLCnext Engineer is your initial starting point for programming PLCnext Control. The software is free of charge and offers you – among other things – a simulation environment: It allows testing projects without connection to a real controller.
By the emulation of an image of the firmware a realistic behavior is offered. If your idea becomes a project, we also offer the possibility to access the automation system via VPN. This will be necessary if, for example, real sensor technology has to be tested. The issue of loan hardware is another option, if the project brings this requirement.


To actively participate in the Beehyve community project, you don’t necessarily need a PLCnext Control. The PLCnext Engineer Simulation allows you to test and optimize your applications even without control hardware.

Find all detailed information on how to get started with the simulation here.

Your idea has already been set up as a project. In the course of the project it may be necessary that you get access to hardware and sensors. For this purpose we offer two options: VPN tunnel or even loan hardware. Just contact us!

We are currently setting up a beehive. This will be equipped with a basic package of sensors. (e.g. temperature, weight, humidity). If your project idea is based on more or other equipment such as sensors or camera systems, these can also be integrated into the hive. It is a constantly evolving Community project. We look forward to growing the Beehive bit by bit through swarm intelligence and many smart automation ideas.

In early summer our bees will move in and provide us with honey and data.

Wether you need the live-data of the hive for your project or you need further equipment to be added to the hive – simply contact us to explore the possibilities to integrate your solution into the test hive together.

Networked beehives

The beehyve

Prototype

We also bring our swarm knowledge together and build a test hive with our internal knowledge from machine and trade fair construction. We equip this with the latest PLCnext Technology hardware and install sensors that are to provide data on heat, humidity and weight, for example. But other things are also conceivable, such as thermal imaging cameras or a camera for checking the flight hole. In spring, a bee colony will move in and support us live with data for the project. The hive is not yet finished and is under construction. It will also be used to integrate ideas and projects from the community. We will report about the construction here and keep you up to date.

Bee Part

Project Roadmap
Step by step together to a bee-project

Ideation

In the beginning, there is an idea that should become a project. Share it with us on our Slack channel and make it available to the community until May, 31st.

Entry of the bees

In spring 2023, the prototype of our hive will be ready and a colony of bees will move in. The move-in is planned in May. Then the bees provide data and give insight into their lives.

End of validation phase

Your idea has become a project and can be implemented. With our support we help you to make your project a reality. Whether with our beehive prototype or with another hardware structure. The implementation phase will end by August, 31st.

Presentation

The world’s largest trade fair for automation technology will be held in Nuremberg from November, 14th to 16th 2023. We will then show the community projects at the Phoenix Contact booth and present them to a wide audience.

Ideation

In the beginning, there is an idea that should become a project. Share it with us on our Slack channel and make it available to the community until May, 31st.

Entry of the bees

In spring 2023, the prototype of our hive will be ready and a colony of bees will move in. The move-in is planned in May. Then the bees provide data and give insight into their lives.

End of validation phase

Your idea has become a project and can be implemented. With our support we help you to make your project a reality. Whether with our beehive prototype or with another hardware structure. The implementation phase will end by August, 31st.

Presentation

The world’s largest trade fair for automation technology will be held in Nuremberg from November, 14th to 16th 2023. We will then show the community projects at the Phoenix Contact booth and present them to a wide audience.

Any questions left?

FAQ
Here you will find answers to all important and frequent questions about the Beehyve project.

The Beehyve is a groundbreaking crowd project by PLCnext Technology. Together with the PLCnext Community, we want to create a smart version of a beehive that uses intelligent automation to improve the lives of honeybees and make a sustainable contribution to our environment.  We did a lot of research and talked to numerous beekeepers to find out what challenges and problems bees but also beekeepers are facing. Based on real use cases, we defined five challenges: 

Bee Care: The threats to honeybees: How can we protect their health? 

Support the Beekeeper: How can we help to simplify manual processes and contribute to bee-friendly beekeeping? 

Enhance the Beehive: How can smart data, artificial intelligence and automation take the beehive to the next level? 

Bee Environment:  How can we protect bees and their environment?  

Bee Creative:  Surprise us and surprise yourself. Think outside the box! 

This gives you the opportunity to focus on just one challenge and develop an innovative and sustainable solution. 

Apart from the fact that the Beehyve community project gives you the opportunity to connect with experts in the fields such as automation, smart data, and artificial intelligence, you can also expand your knowledge and skills while working on a sustainable, impactful project. With diligence and a little luck we will also exhibit your project at the SPS trade fair in Nuremberg, one of the largest international trade fairs for automation technology. Your project may also be featured in other media across digital and print. 

The participation in the Beehyve project takes place via Slack. There you can submit your project, exchange ideas with other participants on the platform, and contact our bee and automation experts if you have any questions. Right now, the final arrangements are being made and we are working hard to make Slack accessible to you. You’re also welcome to sign up for our Buzzletter, there we will inform you first about the availability of Slack. 

Not a programmer? Not a problem. There are more ways to join. Contact us here and let us know. In the meantime, follow us on our social media with the hashtags #plcnext and #beehyve. 

You can submit your project via Slack. It should include the following information: 

  • Name
  • Name of company or university (if applicable)
  • Project idea
  • Project goal
  • Short abstract about the technically realization of the project idea
    (Hardware, Software, Tools, …) 

English language must be used.   

Yes, of course. You can start as a pre-exsisting team or find your swarm during the project.

Don’t worry, even if you are not an expert on bees, you can still participate in the Beehyve project. We did a lot of research and talked to numerous beekeepers and bee experts to find out what challenges and problems bees but also beekeepers are facing. 

In the form of short videos, various beekeepers and experts in the field provide you with exciting use cases and knowledge. You will find the individual videos here on our community website, but also on our social media channels and on YouTube.   

So Bee ready – it’s worth a look! 

Currently we are already working on a pototype of a hive, but of course you are welcome to develop it further. All details are available at The Hive – PLCnext Community

For general information about the PLCnext Technology ecosystem, click here.
For more in-depth knowledge, we recommend the following page: Learning about PLCnext Technology

You can use any tool or language you like. In general, we would recommend to get started and familiarize yourself with our programming tool PLCnext Engineer, the engineering software for programming our PLCnext Control. The software is free of charge and offers you among other things a simulation environment: It allows testing projects without connection to a real controller. By the emulation of an image of the firmware a realistic behaviour is offered.  

In general, the heart of the PLCnext Control firmware is the PLCnextRuntimeSystem. It is sitting on a PLCnext-specific, real-time capable Linux® derivative which is the operating system on every PLCnextControl. From that base, you can choose. 

With PLCnext Technology, you can develop in the popular IEC61131-3languages, with Simulink models, and even in high-level languages. Code of all sources plugs into the PLCnextRuntimeSystemto run synchronized by means of its core components, theESMand theGDS. 

For your convenience, PLCnext Control firmware comes with a range of built-in service componentsplcnext.help prevailing in industrial automation, such as a OPC UA Server, DataLogger, and a sophisticated set of notifications and alarms you can rely on in programming. And what’s an industrial automation system worth without interfaces for communicating from all the other languages, frameworks, or even applications running out of containers?  

Of course you can write your own function extensions to the PLCnext Runtime System as well, enhancing our open industrial automation platform even more. 

Our PLCnext Community is characterized by the fact that the individual programmers support each other and are happy to help with questions. It is our wish that this kind of cooperation will be continued in the Beehyve project. With Slack, we provide a place for you to ask questions and share support for various challenges. That’s what makes a successful crowd project. Of course, you can also contact us via Slack at any time. We will do our best to support you with your challenges.

If there’s an emergency and you can’t reach anyone on Slack, you can get in touch with us via the contact form.

Applications can be submitted  until 31. May 2023, 24:00 German time, under https://www.plcnext-community.net/beehyve/how-to-join. If your project is selected, you have until 31st August 2023

 

More ways to join the swarm

Not a programmer? Not a problem
You are not a programmer but you would still like to join this groundbreaking crwod project? No worries, there are more ways to join.
Newsletter

Subscribe to our buzzletter and stay up to date about all things Beehyve

Contact us

I’m a bee research institute and would like to join

Let us know

I have another idea and would like to participate. How can I do that?

Social Media

Follow the Beehyve on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook with the hashtags #plcnext and #beehyve

Newsletter

Subscribe to our buzzletter and stay up to date about all things Beehyve

Contact us

I’m a bee research institute and would like to join

Let us know

I have another idea and would like to participate. How can I do that?

Social Media

Follow the Beehyve on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook with the hashtags #plcnext and #beehyve