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Help beekeepers keep an eye on hive health, with software that measures hive activity and video highlights of the hive entrance.
Help beekeepers keep an eye on hive health, with software that measures hive activity and video highlights of the hive entrance.
Help beekeepers keep an eye on hive health, with software that measures hive activity and video highlights of the hive entrance.
93 backers pledged $12,218 to help bring this project to life.

About

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EyesOnHives: Video Health Monitor for Honey Bees

$12,218

93

This invention helps beekeepers understand the health and behavior of their bees with software that measures hive activity, and gives video playback through a web app. 

Help beekeepers keep an eye on bee health!
Help beekeepers keep an eye on bee health!
Click for Post Kickstarter Updates and Bee News!
Click for Post Kickstarter Updates and Bee News!

Bees are essential to a third of the food we eat. Last year 42% of honeybee colonies died out.

Using EyesOnHives, beekeepers in our 15 hive Local Beta took action to manage colonies suffering from queen failure, ant attacks and robbing.

Our goal is to get 30 more systems out in the field to study bee behavior and further develop the detection algorithms. We applied for grant funding, but we're trying to raise $8k NOW with your help to make a start. The bees can't wait.  

We're seeking forward-looking beekeepers and backers to support the project or become part of it! Please check out the support levels and pledges ->>>

Bees are depending on us, just like we depend on them for our food.
Bees are depending on us, just like we depend on them for our food.

When Paul, a beekeeper of 40+ years asked us to count bees coming out of a hive because he couldn't check on it frequently enough himself - now that bees are so vulnerable to colony collapse - we were inspired to help.

We created EyesOnHives so beekeepers like Paul see data and video highlights of their bees, and keep more of their bees alive.

EyesOnHives uses a camera and computer to visually monitor what goes on at the bee hive all day, every day.  Activity is measured by tracking the number of flying bees.  

If you're an innovative beekeeper, check out the devices available ->>>

Colony activity patterns are tracked over time using computerized video analysis. 

Hours of video is automatically translated into an easy to understand, visual, real-time summary for beekeepers. 

Video, timelapse and beehive activity data is available through the web app, which is PC / Mac / iOS / Android / Linux compatible.

Video. Timelapse. Flight Patterns. Check in on your bees anytime, anywhere.
Video. Timelapse. Flight Patterns. Check in on your bees anytime, anywhere.

Beekeepers can see videos of interest and if anything unusual occurred. 

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A key insight is that it's not just the 'count' of individual bees that matters, it's their flight behavior. EyesOnHives doesn't just look at bees, it measures flight behavior of the hive as a superorganism!

One of the most exciting things we found was what we call the "orientation spike" in data.

Healthy Orientation Signature
Healthy Orientation Signature

In a healthy hive we see an activity spike mid-afternoon as new field bees take their first 'orientation' flights.  

Sick hives, or hives that are under attack, show different activity signatures.

Robbing Signature - when other bees attack a weaker hive.
Robbing Signature - when other bees attack a weaker hive.

Graphing the average daily bee activity over time shows how a hive is growing.

Growing Hive Trend
Growing Hive Trend

It turns out the flight activity is an indication of hive health as it grows and gives an early warning if something is wrong.

Queen Loss and Colony Recovery
Queen Loss and Colony Recovery

It feels pretty great to save an entire colony of creatures.  No more finding they've all died because they didn't get help.

EyesOnHives makes it easy to share with others to promote awareness and knowledge of bee health and activity patterns.  

Turns out some pretty surprising things happen in front of a beehive too. 

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Storch's At The Hive Entrance catalogs "How to know what happens inside the hive by observation on the outside". We were inspired. 

EyesOnHives allows beekeepers to use this same visual intuition remotely.

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Beekeepers young and old are fascinated by watching what the bees are doing. 

Skilled and committed beekeepers can look at beehive activity and know when the bees need assistance. But too often problems are not identified until it is too late and the colony is lost. 

We asked 'what if all beekeepers could continuously monitor their hive?" Now they can!

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We started tracking hives over a year ago and have already run a successful pilot program with local beekeepers, learning more and building the beginnings of a community along the way. 

Some of the hives from the Local Beta!
Some of the hives from the Local Beta!

Because of the alarming decline in bee colonies over the past 10 years, it is crucial that we learn as much as we can about bee behavior and the challenges they face. These priceless pollinators are vital to us and to the agriculture industry. The consequences of losing them would be devastating. 

The future success of the honeybee is dependent on people caring about their current plight. This is why we need you! With your help we can start collecting data from many regions across the US and eventually the world. The ability to use video analytics to issue alerts and predict hive outcomes is in its infancy. More data is needed to help correlate specific hive diseases, pests, and bee behavior to the hive activity measurements.

  • If you are a beekeeper, the EyesOnHives system will provide you greater access and connection to your bees, while saving you time.
  • If you are not a beekeeper, become a member of our community of citizen scientists and watch videos of bees, see trending data from other hives, make comments, and help identify anomalies to improve the EyesOnHives alerts.
  • Alternatively, sponsor a beekeeper by purchasing a system that we place through a recognized beekeeping association.

Please support us through one of the following backer levels:

Currently we are only able to ship to customers in the US. If you are outside the US, but interested in EyesOnHives please support us at the Helper Bee or Social Bee award levels and you will receive a survey asking about your location and potential desire to pre-order the system. We will research shipping and customs requirements in order of the highest number of backers from each country. 

EyesOnHives is focused on backyard and rooftop beekeepers. The system does not disturb your colony, require modifications to your hive, or take hours to set up. Simply place the unit one to two feet away from the hive and point at the hive entrance. The system uses Wi-Fi to communicate alerts, upload video, and report trending data. Setup requires access to 120V power and a usable Wi-Fi signal at the hive. 

Power and WiFi are needed!
Power and WiFi are needed!

All units include 1 year access to the web application and analytics platform, which is accessible on any internet enabled computer or smartphone (iOS/Android), and is where you can see and graph all historical activity data. Approximately 14 days of archived videos are available for on demand viewing. After the first year we hope you'll want to stay on the platform, which is planned to retail for $10/month as your Netflix for bees. Thank you for your support!

Our goal is to grow a network of connected hives. The data generated benefits every beekeeper, since they can see what the data patterns mean.

Please support our project, and share your comments and feedback!

Risks and challenges

As demonstrated in our current prototypes the biggest engineering challenge of using image processing to measure hive activity has been solved. We have a small fleet of Beta units deployed on the West Coast and have been testing reliability and robustness of the web app and hardware. We now have a reliable system ready for wide adoption. Although production and delivery of any new product is sure to have challenges, we are doing our best to proactively identify and plan for these.

Production - Ramping up production to meet demand will require new resources. We have identified manufacturing methods to meet the demands of this Kickstarter campaign and feel confident we can meet the delivery deadlines.

Fulfillment - Packaging, shipping, and logistics will require careful planning for a smooth product roll-out. We will be researching the best shipping methods while finalizing production. We believe we have the personnel power and resources to find optimal fulfillment solutions and will keep all backers informed of our progress.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Helper Bee - Did you know a bee makes just 1/4 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime? It's amazing what we can achieve when many contribute toward a big goal.

    A big thank you for your support! We will keep you updated on our project and your name will be featured on the EyesOnHives website.

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    24 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Social Bee (1) - 3 month membership to app and web application.

    If you are not a beekeeper, you can still be a member of our community of citizen scientists and watch videos of bees from anywhere. Follow hives, comment, and help beekeepers help bees!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    18 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Social Bee (2) - 6 month membership to app and web application.

    If you are not a beekeeper, you can still be a member of our community of citizen scientists and watch videos of bees from anywhere. Follow hives, comment, and help beekeepers help bees!

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    9 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Social Bee (3) - 1 year membership to app and web application.

    If you are not a beekeeper, you can still be a member of our community of citizen scientists and watch videos of bees from anywhere. Follow hives, comment, and help beekeepers help bees!

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    6 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Science Bee - In addition to Social Bee (3) rewards, you will receive early online access to our research whitepaper on beehive patterns as well as our study of the potential impact of EyesOnHives for commercial bee pollination.

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    1 backer
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Worker Bee - EyesOnHives Model B device and 1 year membership to the analytics/web platform at a discounted price for those willing to wait on delivery. Requires Power and WiFi.

    Save $120 off the expected retail price!

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 3 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Philanthropic Bee - You will sponsor a beehive! We'll put the EyesOnHives Model B device and 1 year of the analytics platform in the hands of a beekeeper chosen through a recognized beekeeping association or school program. You will receive access to videos and weekly hive reports on colony progress.

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    Limited 5 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $330 or more About $330

    Model Bee - Get the first production batch of the EyesOnHives Model B device and 1 year membership to analytics/web platform. Requires Power and WiFi.

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    Pledge $360 or more About $360

    Scout Bee - Pave the way for the swarm to follow. Get one of the earliest limited edition pre-production batch EyesOnhives Model B devices and 1 year of the analytics/web platform. You will be included on our exclusive Beta feedback panel, we'll listen to your input, and send you exclusive updates. Requires Power and WiFi.

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    Limited 7 backers
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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Canadian Bee - For Canadian supporters get the the EyesOnHives Model B device and 1 year membership to analytics/web platform. Pledge amount plus $100 shipping covers duties, tariffs, GST, and registrations needed for importing to Canada. Requires Power and WiFi.

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    Limited 2 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Royal Bee - Make a big statement of support with an EyesOnHives Model B device and 2 years of the analytics platform, powered by the sun with a solar panel and battery storage. Requires WiFi.

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Funding period

- (30 days)