Beehive Temperature and Humidity Sensor

Hi, I’m Jon and today I’m installing a temperature
and humidity sensor in the brood box of one of our beehives. In the previous videos I showed how I setup
the electronics box that goes on top of the hive, and currently holds a Raspberry Pi,
an Arduino, and it’s own temperature and humidity sensor. I also showed how I ran power for the electronics
from the solar panels behind me to each of the beehives. As I mentioned in the first video, bees will
try to coat the inside of the beehive with a sticky substance called propolis, so I need
to try to protect any electronics and sensors inside the hive from getting covered in that
stuff. So my plan is to make a cage out of 1/8″ wire
mesh and attach it to one of the hive frames, where the bees build their honeycomb. This
makes it easier to remove if I need to work on it. Just take out the whole frame temporarily. For now, this cage is only going to house
a temperature and humidity sensor, but eventually I plan to add an infrared camera and a microphone
as well. I stapled one side of the cage down to the
frame, but I want to maintain easy access, if only for adding future components, so I
used a bunch of twist ties we had lying around, to tie down the other side. This way I can
just un-twist the twist ties to open the door. Next I soldered a temperature and humidity
sensor to a small project board, and connected some long wires. There are plenty of plans online for these,
but essentially you need to connect the left-most pin on the sensor to 5 volts, the next pin
from the left goes to an input pin on your micro-controller, an Arduino in my case, and
the right-most pin on the sensor goes to ground. Then it’s recommended to add a 4.7k ohm or
10k ohm resistor between the signal and 5 volt lines. I added a 10k ohm resistor, because
that’s what I had handy. Finally, so that my solder joints wouldn’t
short out against the wire mesh in the cage, I cut a piece of cardboard and twist tied
it with some left-over wire bits to the back of the project board. Next I untwisted the twist ties holding the
door to my cage closed, put the assembly inside with the wires hanging out, and then re-secured
the door. And then finally I took the whole thing out
to the hives, and placed the frame and cage in the brood box with the wires hanging out
of the hive, placed the electronics box back on top, cut the signal wire to an appropriate
length to have enough extra to reach from the bottom to the top as the hive gets taller
over the summer, coiled up the slack, and stuck the end into the port on the arduino
that I already coded to read the broodbox sensor. Then I opened up the electrical junction box,
cut the black and red wires to an appropriate length, stuck the wires inside the junction
box, and wired them up to the terminal block appropriately (black connected to the large
wires with writing on them, as usual). And then I did the same thing with the other
hive. Live charts showing the latest sensor data
are available on my website, which I’ll link to below. Coming up next, assuming all goes as planned,
will be the scale under each hive providing up to the minute readings of how much the
hive weighs. This will be useful in evaluating the overall health of the colony. Be sure to check out this channel for lots
more related videos, and be sure to subscribe to be the first to know when new videos are


  1. Just out of interest – why wire mesh rather than plastic mesh? Save the hassles of insulating any electronics that may rest on the mesh… (eg )

  2. I really love your graphs on the website! I'd love to set something like that up soon. Must get my hands on some of those! I've got a couple of questions though… Why don't you just hookup the sensors to the Raspberry? Surely you save some energy/cabling by doing that? Also what is your power consumption like? I'd love to power my pi with solar, perhaps you can give us an indepth review of how you hooked up yours? what power you are using? why you chose the equipment you used etc? Riveting stuff… keep up the good work!

  3. Will make more sense with flow hive frames where I can determine when honey is ready to harvest without disturbing the bees preferably inside my home with a laptop or desktop.and monitoring when temp outside in Minnesota is 20 below

  4. Bees love to throw curve balls he hee There smart The smartest insect i know of, then ants . Sounds with emotions would be very help help in language. They do try to Communicate in there own little ways> 1 way a scout flying aback and forth in you face, its trying to tell ya some thing Don't notice it, she will bring more until you do notice

  5. Way to much work for me. I'm going to try a temp sencer thermostat from Amazon three sepret moisture/temp sencersthat send a signal a couple of hundread feet to my house

  6. Hey John. I am building my first beehive and wanted to put my programming and electronic skills to work by putting a monitoring system in the hive. That led me to your video, which is great, by the way. I still have lots of head scratching to do because I am building a top bar hive that is hexagonal in shape. That means I can't just stick the electronics in a "supper", and my top bars don't lend themselves to housing the sensors very well. I would love to discuss some ideas with you if possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *