Introduction: BeeInformed: Environmental Analyzer for Beekeeping


Felipe Silva Neves e-mail:

Bianca Rodrigues de Souza e-mail:

Project description

The BeeInformed comes into play to estimate analytically environmental parameters of apiaries, providing relevant information for productivity, maintenance and quality of bee products.

As relevant information source, sensors collect some direct parameters periodically, and from these data are obtained information for reading and human interpretation allowing act on your apiary, taking decisions for maximizing productivity and quality. Among the measured parameters are:

  • Environmental conditions: temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure;
  • Specific conditions: audio for bee aggressiveness estimation;
  • Climatic conditions: luminosity, and;
  • GPS Location.

The system consists of two large components, the sensor block consisting of an edge device responsible for collecting the raw data in real time allowing the creation of apiary’s graphics reality. The edge device is communicated by BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) with the gateway, paper made by Qualcomm Dragonboard, which in possession of this data performs local processing obtaining the data for human reading, the gateway element communicates with a cloud service, allowing the construction of the environmental history of the apiary.

It is expected that, in the possession of the information, the apiary manager can have reliable data for maximizing productivity, since the sale of the equipment and data service is the primary monetization channel; information collected from all the beehives can serve as secondary monetization with Based on the sale of this database to large organizations and regulatory bodies, thus obtaining a system with level of scalability.

Why does the world need BeeInformed?

At this final development stage, the BeeInformed team wants to deliver more than a prototype, we want to deliver a value proposition that has environmental responsibility and contributes to a sustainable production of bee products, below we will answer why BeeInformed is necessary and what its relevance.

BeeInformed was designed with the beekeeper in mind and how to create a robust and multifunctional tool to help him monitor the environmental characteristics of places where he leaves the hives for permanent or migratory management. Thus, information such as temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, ambient light and sound pickup emitted by bees can be available to the beekeeper to help him plan his handling activities and consequently increase his production of bee products such as honey, propolis, bee pollen, wax and apitoxin.

But as we begin to think more about the features offered by Qualcomm Dragonboard and the requirements of domestic and export markets for honey, for example, we find that our project could meet beekeeper needs beyond the field and then add to the scope of functionality of the our environmental analyzer, the determination of the location of the apiaries by GPS, making possible the georeferencing.

And what is the importance of this information? Traceability! The traceability of a food is a primary requirement for its commercialization, since it is part of sanitary and food safety protocols on a world scale, in addition the Brazilian territory is very vast which results in a diversified bee pasture, being wild or commercial, organic or with application of agrochemicals. Thus, by using BeeInformed in its apiary, it will be possible for the beekeeper to guarantee the origin of their product, whether organic or not, and as future market we see the possibility of issuing certificate of electronic origin that will value the product for export.

And what would be the relevance of this project? the fact that due to the aggressive nature of honeybee Apis, hybrid species of bees from Europe and Africa, visits to apiaries must be carried out in spaced manner, so that these pollinating insects do not feel threatened, backed up care, seeking to avoid accidents that can be fatal.

These factors make it difficult to monitor the environment permanently and in detail that may indicate sudden environmental changes, even if for a short period of time, harmful to bee health and the quality of its products. Honey, for example, even inside the hive should not be subjected to high temperatures which causes a decrease in its quality.

Another relevant point for a specific monitoring of bees is that for some time beekeepers and researchers from all over the world have been witnesses and seek answers to the mass disappearance of these insects. Studies indicate that there are multiple causal factors, among them indiscriminate use of agrochemicals, deforestation, burnings, diseases, mites, climatic changes, nutritional deficits among innumerable other causes for the disappearance or death of bees.

And what death or disappearance of bees can impact on beekeeping or even in your life, dear reader? For beekeeping, financial losses mainly for family farmers and decrease in honey exports. For you ... and the world, in the long time, hunger! Bees are the insects responsible for pollination of plants that generate fruits and grains. Albert Einstein in his time exercised the thought of how it would be a world without bees, and synthesized it in wise words:

"If the bees disappear from the face of the earth, mankind will live for another four years. Without bees there is no pollination, there is no reproduction of flora, no flora there are no animals, no animals, there will be no human race."

Albert Einstein (1879/1955)

Step 1: Development History

BeeInformed is a project with a certain level of complexity, so our first challenge soon after receiving and testing Qualcomm DragonBoard is how to use the BLE service in a user space application, we found that BlueZ the native Bluetooth stack of the OS of Dragon has the fundamental access blocks, we are slowly setting ourselves up to create a thread capable of receiving the contents of our edge device, whose firmware had no major problems thanks to the infrastructure offered by Bosch. Our estimate is that this first week of June the edge device firmware is finished and ready to be integrated with the Dragon Board communication system.

We define the three main components of BeeInformed as well as their functions:

  • BeeInformed Gateway (DragonBoard): The main component of the solution, this data concentrator will be responsible for local processing as well as storage and organization of the environmental data of all nearby beehives;
  • BeeInformed Edge (XDC): A sensor device located directly in the beekeeping environment responsible for acquiring environmental data in real time and passing it to the BeeInformed Gateway at your request, and;

  • BeeInformed User (Dashboard): Application, main bridge between user and data monitored by BeeInformed Hardware.

Thus, the systematic architecture of the BeeInformed project looks like the image above.

Step 2: ​Components Used in the Project: Hardware Part 1

The hardware for BeeInformed components is based on mature solutions to accelerate the prototyping and validation of the concept involving battery-powered environmental sensor nodes and gateway for local data processing, to these two components we call BeeInformed Edge and BeeInformed Gateway respectively, The BeeInformed solution does not have wiring diagram because it was made to operate without source, so only the following components are necessary:

  • BeeInformed Edge: Sensor-based hardware Bosch XDK:

o It has environmental sensors, BLE and power management.

Step 3: Components Used in the Project: Hardware Part 2

  • BeeInformed Gateway: Computer Based on Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c Module

o It features: GPS, BLE + WiFI plus an ARMv8 CPU based on QuadCore 1.2GHz indicated for data processing;

Step 4: ​Software Used in the Project: BeeInformed Solution Software Development Files Part 1

  • BeeInformed Edge device: sensor acquisition firmware and BLE communication:

o Firmware Repository:;

o See the Tools section below for the XDK Workbench.

Above, in the image, it's the firmware stack diagram.

Step 5: Software Used in the Project: BeeInformed Solution Software Development Files Part 2

  • BeeInformed Gateway: cross application for assembly of information and sending to the cloud service and reception of data of N edge devices:


    The desired software architecture is illustrated above.

  • BeeInformed User: IHM will be a console application in this first version. Then an IHM developed for android devices will be developed.

Step 6: Software Used in the Project: Supporting Tools for Building Components of Sw BeeInformed

  • TensorFlow - SDK for development of machine learning processes:


  • Bosch XDK workbench - Firmware build environment BeeInformed edge:


  • Linux OS to behave the application BeeInformed gateway:


  • CySmart BLE protocol test tool with GUI:


o version)

  • Hcitool and gatttool native Linux tools for BLE testing using the BlueZ stack:



  • Gattlib lib for access to BlueZ GATT layer allowing to write BLE applications:


Step 7: Fist Work Prototype: Edge Device Firmware Validation

Step 8: Fist Work Prototype: Ambient Audio Acquisition Test

Step 9: Fist Work Prototype: Validation of the Communication Chain

Step 10: Fist Work Prototype: Test System

Step 11: Final Presentation

Step 12: References