This past weekend we (TwelveDot Labs that is) participated in our first Ottawa Random Hacks of Kindness (RHOK) after being a sponsor for the past three years.
Algonquin’s School of Hospitality and Tourism is on a mission to better help students to understand the “food to fork” concept and the impact the changing environment is having on the human food chain. And we were happy to partner with Algonquin College on a bee hive monitoring project .
We had to do a lot over the weekend and not a lot of time to do it in (about 14 hours) but we managed to get sensors logging into our database. All of this was done with a team of only eight! Without the hard work and efforts of Kirin, Kaelan, Bernard, Ying, Cid, Jared and Alf, this project would not have come together in such a short period. We were, and remain, truly grateful to all of them for giving up their weekend for this project. We also had significant assistance from Dave of Algonquin College who is both a chef and understudy beekeeper. He provided very useful details on how bees live and our impact on them in general and every time we open a hive.
That said, we know that there are many other hackathons that have similar projects and even commercial monitoring solutions for monitoring bee hives right now. We also know that there are no solutions which are purpose-built for research and non-intrusive to the bee environment. The goal of our project was to develop a solution that included these two aspects in the overall design. Over the course of the weekend we:
- Used an Arduino (an open-source prototyping platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software) based platform to connect our sensors.
- Designed a base mobile User Experience (UX).
- Setup and configured a time-series database.
- Fine tuned our sensors for data collection via the code.
- Created a web site to document our project.
- Developed a design to incorporate sensors non-intrusively to a bee hive – we actually did this in the last hour of the event!
Our goal going forward will be to continue this work with Algonquin as bees are important to our food chain. We are doing this for bees as much as we are doing it for ourselves.
In the coming months we will be proving all the initial design and data collected for bee research and hope to have our own data available as well. If you want to know more about our work and progress, we invite you to go to our project website.
Lastly, do not hesitate to contact us to find out if we can help your field research project.