Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Introduction

Here at Fairy Dell Farms we started beekeeping this year with a single beehive.  Conventional wisdom says we should have started with two as the annual survival rate for a beehive in Connecticut is 50%.  Despite this caution we persevered with one.  We found the most commonly given advice is to sit back and let the bees tell you what they want you to do.  Being possibly Bee Deaf, we decided to improve our hearing by installing a small datalogger that records the temperature, humidity and weight of the hive along with ambient environmental data.   We also installed a small camera at the entrance as well.

The datalogger is from a design supplied by the Center for Honeybee Research that also supplied the software.  The data we collect is displayed on an iPad in the kitchen and is also forwarded to the CHR where they make it available to all.   You can view a chart of our data here (FairyDellA). [To see data from beehives all over the globe go here (Global Beehives)]

Our experience so far is that the datalogger makes us better bee listeners and it gives us an insight into what is going on behind the walls of the hive.  The data has helped us quickly identify and fix problems before they become critical.  More importantly, daily increases in the beehive’s weight have gone a long way in telling us the hive is healthy and doing quite fine without us.  Embarrassing, I will  add it has also contributed to our being ‘helicopter beekeepers’ where we have been knowned to step in to do something like open additional vents to improve cooling in extremely hot weather.

In this blog you will find additional information such as activity and observation logs, other research notes as well as a running commentary of events surrounding this project and beekeeping in general.  I cannot say there won’t be musing on other topics along the way.

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Introduction

Here at Fairy Dell Farms we started beekeeping this year with a single beehive.  Conventional wisdom says we should have started with two as...