Hive temperature logger

I've often been curious, and maybe a little concerned, about how well native stingless bees regulate the internal temperature of the hive, if at all. Native Stingless Bees can start to suffer when the internal temperature of the hive climbs into the low 40s.

Monitoring the temperature at the hive

I started with a simple off the shelf digital thermometer that would store the maximum and minimum temperatures. This was fine for a while, but I really wanted to know more. Now, given that I'm an electrical engineer, naturally my thoughts turned to building a device that could log the temperature at regular intervals and allow me to review the data.

Logging the temperature at the hive

What I ended up building was a wi-fi enabled temperature logger that would take a reading every six minutes and log the data to my web site. This worked well and I can see exactly what the temperature is back home at any time.

I chose to base the device on the ESP8266 development board which can easily be coded using the Arduino development software. Two temperature sensors are used to read the internal and external temperatures:

  • (a) a DHT22 temperature sensor to measure the outside temperature; and
  • (b) a DS18B20 waterproof temperature sensor to measure the brood temperature.

The algorithm I chose for the code was:

  1. Wake up and connect to the home WiFi
  2. Take the temperature readings (DHT22 measures outside temp and DS18B20 measures the temp inside)
  3. Upload the temperature readings to my web site
  4. Go to deep sleep for six minutes (ten readings per hour)

The box containing all the electronics sits under the roof of the hive so that the sun does not shine directly on it and skew the external temperature readings.

You can see the results for yourself here: Temperature log