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From Instructables user hydronics comes this electronic bee-counter that mounts over a hive’s entrance, dividing it into many channels, each as wide as a single bee, and each equipped with a pair of IR reflectance sensors. When a bee passes through, the order in which the sensors are tripped reveals if it is coming or going. The sensor array is mounted on a custom PCB designed and printed through a local hackerspace, and mounts a Teensy++ for control and USB communication with a laptop, wbere a Processing script uploads the data in real time to Google Drive. Code, circuits, and parts lists at the link, below, or check out the whole project at World Maker Faire this weekend!

Honey Bee Counter

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.



  1. ameyring says:

    As a beekeeper, this is nice!

  2. [...] have created an iPhone-based acoustical swarm detector. Interesting stuff! Read more about it at: MAKE |Real Time Bee Counter with Cloud Datalogging. Share this:TwitterStumbleUponRedditFacebookDiggPrintEmailLinkedInTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first [...]

  3. beardy241 says:

    After taking a beekeeping course a few years back and with the onset of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) I had pondered making such a device. Well done for making a reality. I’m sure that many beekeepers and beekeeping evangelists would find this a useful tool.

  4. ralphsrobots says:

    Well done. Very cool!

  5. Bosstiger says:

    Reblogged this on Gigable – Tech Blog.

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