THE HIVE

What all this buzz is about

Swarm intelligence meets smart sustainable automation. Set Reminder

CROWD-PROJECT

The beehyve: a smart home for our small friends
There are many challenges the bees and their beekeeper faces. Now we need the swarm intelligence of our PLCnext Community to solve them and create some real impact. We believe that collaboration and crowd knowledge is key when it comes to complex automation tasks. Let’s use the opportunities offered by the open ecosystem PLCnext Technology to create the best ideas for a smart version of a beehive: the Beehyve.

The challenges

Sustainable automation with a buzz
The Beehive-challenges
1 Bee Care
Bees are indispensable for our ecosystem: they pollinate around 80% of all wild and cultivated plants and thus ensure high-yield harvests as well as an immense variety of food. Therefore, we need to make sure they stay healthy. We need to protect them from pesticides that are used in agriculture. But also, from intruders (e.g. mice) and diseases like the deadly varroa mite. Any ideas?
2 Support the Beekeeper
The job of a beekeeper is very complex. Collecting honey may sound easy but there is way more to that. The beekeeper needs to know his bees. He needs to be able to tell when they need food or even when they are ill. Think of ways to simplify a beekeeper’s life. How can automation help to optimize manual processes and contribute to bee-friendly beekeeping? Can we automate the feeding or honey collecting process? What if the beekeeper could monitor his bees with real-time-alerts?
3 Enhance the Beehive
Our vision is to make a beehive smarter. Think of all aspects of a hive. Where do you see room for improvement? We will be able to collect valuable data. Let’s make sure we use them in a smart way. How can we prepare the beehive for a future of digitalization?
4 Bee Environment
Bees love flower meadows. But exactly those are getting more and more difficult for them to find. Let’s think of smart techniques to save the bee’s environment, like flower meadow monitoring. Also think of how climate change is affecting bees and their environment.
5 Bee Creative
Surprise us. Surprise yourself. Think like you’ve never thought before. Think outside the box.
Networked beehives

Prototype

Smart hive in progress

We at Phoenix Contact are not only a team of engineers, technicians and production workers. Among us there are also very many hobby beekeepers. 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.

Control technology

The hive is equipped with the latest control technology. In addition to a PLCnext Control (AXC F 3152), a PLCnext Control (AXC F 2152) will also be installed. Thus, simulated projects can be ideally transferred to the prototype.

Extension modules for controller

In order to also be able to run applications that require artificial intelligence, we have connected to the PLCnext Control (AXC F 3152) the new extension module for Machine Learning (AXC F XT ML1000).

Weather Station and LoRaWAN

To obtain weather data our hive is equipped with a weather station. LoRaWAN Technology is used for energy efficient and cost effective data transmission.

Sensors

Most important, however, are the sensors. They provide basic data on temperature, humidity and weight. Over time, the hive will be equipped with additional sensors if the projects require it.

Control technology

The hive is equipped with the latest control technology. In addition to a PLCnext Control (AXC F 3152), a PLCnext Control (AXC F 2152) will also be installed. Thus, simulated projects can be ideally transferred to the prototype.

Extension modules for controller

In order to also be able to run applications that require artificial intelligence, we have connected to the PLCnext Control (AXC F 3152) the new extension module for Machine Learning (AXC F XT ML1000).

Weather Station and LoRaWAN

To obtain weather data our hive is equipped with a weather station. LoRaWAN Technology is used for energy efficient and cost effective data transmission.

Sensors

Most important, however, are the sensors. They provide basic data on temperature, humidity and weight. Over time, the hive will be equipped with additional sensors if the projects require it.

Stay tuned

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