Honey Bee Counter using Arduino

Where the honeybee’s division of labor has stayed on a steady progression for 25 million years… our human superorganism has grown more complex and in all directions… hence the bee counter… By:  thomashudson.org

Live data from – June 25, 2012
I’ve moved away from live data… my version 2 has an SD card and I’m partnering with a university to do some research… feel free to make your own WIFI enabled swarm detector and I’d love to partner someone that wants to sell them to the masses.

Arduino Honey Bee Counter

Step 1: Manifesto

Bee Counter – Version 2, October 14, 2012
– micro SD datalogging
– real time clock turns OFF the counter at night for reduced power
– decoupled the LEDs from the microcontroller to reduce average power to 6.6 ma when not in use
– small battery will last for months
– solar cell power ready
– unlimited temperature sensors
– can perform estimates of size of the bee (worker vs drones) and therefore monitor drone/worker activity
– 3D printed turn-styles or gates
– for sale complete without battery $400 or make your own (see below)

Here are the specs for Version 1. This instructable details out Version 1 which is easily upgradable to version 2 though I’ve not provided complete plans.
–  95% Accuracy
–  Runs off USB power
– should be rain resistant with a top cover
–  bees adapt to new opening in a few minutes
real time monitoring on google docs
– USB connection dumps data onto your laptop text file

Here’s the plans to build your own. There are general instructions for prototyping or you can go to the circuit page and copy my exact board and circuit.

1. Buy a couple of infrared (IR) sensors
– Sparkfun: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9542
– Get some 30K 50K and 100K resistors for testing the digital input sensitivity..
– Get some 10 , 20, and 50 ohm resistors for powering the IR LED

2. Prototype your parts with an Arduino
– I used a dead bee on a wire
– its an easy circuit

3. Select a Microcontroller… I used the Teensy ++
– same user interface as Arduino..
– has 46 inputs/outputs,
– its cheap, and
– designed locally here in Portland..

4. Design your Printed Circuit Board with EAGLE for free
– i took a 4 hour class at dorkbotpdx.org here in Portland. the software is free.
– have it printed through dorkbot in Portland $45 for 3 boards

5. put everything together
– solder your components on the board
– calibrate your sensors
– fine tune your programming

Rough cost and components for my board ~ $110
– Printed Circuit Board $45
– qty(44) QRE1113 IR Sensors $33
– Teensy ++ $24
– resistors and pins $10
– my time $ouch!

Message me if your interested in me putting together a kit as it would probably be $130 if you want to do the soldering and hot glue gunning yourself!

Step 2: Circuit

more details to follow but its super simple…

Sparkfun sells the Infrared sensor or IR sensor. It is an LED AND a Sensor! crazy useful!.

When the bee crosses under the LED the light is reflected back to the sensor..(its a photo transistor) and triggers a digital input to the Arduino.. (or teensy in my case).

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