Last fall I purchased a device to monitor the temperature and relative humidity inside one of my hives. It is in hive 2 which has overwintered the past two years. This is a new product and still a bit buggy, but it is beginning to provide some interesting data. I lost all the data from the winter because the battery died (it is supposed to last a year). I installed a new battery in March and now have all the data since then. It is supposed to take a reading every minute, I think, but looking at the data on a daily or hourly basis seems more than adequate. Here is the most current data.
This hive swarmed on either April 14 or April 18. I’m not sure which (there were four swarms in the past week). Something curious happened on April 15. You can see how the hive temperature had been dropping at night closely following the outside temperature, but on April 15 it didn’t stayed warmer all night. I am guessing that maybe this hive swarmed on the 18th after a couple of days of increased activity in the hive. This is just a guess based on a single hive and set of data, but it is interesting. The temperature stayed high and steady even several days after the 18th, however, so I don’t know what that would mean. The Broodminder is just another tool in the beekeeping arsenal, but I am already finding it to be useful and interesting. I have purchased the next generation sensor which will include hive weight. I am very excited to test that one out as well. It is scheduled for June or July, probably available right after the honey harvest which is when it would have been the most useful. There is always next year – if the battery doesn’t die!