Sophia Hive – One Year On

It is almost a year since we ventured into the amazing world of bees. The Sophia colony has survived the Irish winter, although I can’t say the same for the beehive monitoring equipment. Things started to go wrong in late January. With the many changes in atmospheric pressure and humidity over the winter, moisture managed to condense within the GSM box sitting on top of the hives. Despite adding a piece of wood to lift the circuit off the bottom of the box, moisture still managed to condense onto the circuitry.

Ice Ingress
Ice and water droplets formed within the GSM circuit box.

Beehivemonitoring were happy to accept the circuits back for repair. They have now repaired them but unfortunately, because An Post has suspended services to/from Slovakia and many other countries, the circuits are stuck in transit somewhere.

Plans are afoot to replace the monitoring system with a more robust scale unit (load cells also fell off the scales and had to be re-soldered) combined with a GSM unit with integrated solar charger. Hopefully, with some silicone seals, the new unit, when it arrives, will be better able to withstand our varied weather patterns.

Meanwhile, another problem has presented with my home hive. The bees have forged a path to the water font in the hen-run. Now the chickens approach it with trepidation as the bees, well – make a bee-line for it:

Bees must drink too!
Hens are a little put out by the constant stream of bees sharing their water trough.

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