About this project
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.
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 ->>>
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.
Beekeepers can see videos of interest and if anything unusual occurred.
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.
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.
Graphing the average daily bee activity over time shows how a hive is growing.
It turns out the flight activity is an indication of hive health as it grows and gives an early warning if something is wrong.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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