What are the parts of the Forsage bee kit?
It consists of a scale that is placed under the hive, a sensor that measures temperature and humidity, a transmitter that sends data to an online application, a transmitter charger and an application for beekeepers.
The price of one basic set for one hive is 633 EUR (1 × weight, 1 × transmitter, 1 × sensor).
It is also possible to buy variants for more hives. If you have your hives close enough (within 20 metres), you will only need one transmitter for all hives at that station.
Add as many scales and sensors as you wish:
- one sensor is 95 EUR
- one scale is 194 EUR
The scale has a maximum load capacity of 200 kg and itself weighs 8 kg. The dimensions are 47.7 × 47.7 cm.
The sensor has a diameter of 52 mm, is 12.5 mm high and weighs only 25 g. The thermometer in the sensor has a measuring range of -20 / + 70 ° C.
How many scales and sensors can be connected to one transmitter?
Due to the battery life in the transmitter, we recommend connecting a maximum of 5 scales and 10 sensors. If you manage to charge the battery more often, it is not a problem to connect even more sensors or scales.
Is it possible to install the device anywhere in the world?
Yes, the device uses the GSM network. Wherever there is a GSM signal at the site, the device will work.
What is the range of the transmitter? How close do I have to have the hives?
In an open area, the transmitter has a range of about 30m. If there is an obstacle between the transmitter and the sensor, the range is reduced to 10m. The range is significantly affected by the presence of a metal roof close the hive, then the distance is reduced to units of meters. It is recommended to place the transmitter outside the metal roof
What mobile tariff should I buy?
The device uses the GSM network to transfer data and it is necessary to insert a SIM card with a tariff into the transmitter, which enables data transfer (with a limit of up to 50MB). Such SIM cards are often called (M2M = machine to machine).
Is a sim card included in the package?
If you also purchase a tariff subscription with the device, we will prepare the sim card directly into the port. The Sim Card will work for the duration of recharging the tariff. Then you need to recharge your tariff with us.
In other words, you have two options:
buy your own sim card and install it in the port yourself
buy a tariff for a sim card from us together with the transmitter and do not worry about anything else, the sim card will come directly in the transmitter ready and functional
You can easily find out how much the subscription tariff for a sim card costs at: https://www.forsage.net/produkt/en/forsage-bee-kit/
Do the bees show any signs that the sensor is interfering with them?
The sensor has no effect on the bees from what we can see in 3 years of using it. In our experience, we have not observed that bees avoid it in any way.
We recommend placing the sensor on the edge of the brood chamber, in an extracting super or in an entrance.
How long do batteries last?
The battery lasts for about 1 year in the sensor and then needs to be replaced. The CR2477 battery is inserted into the sensor (and it is super cheap and easy to buy).
The battery in the transmitter lasts one year. The battery is charged via a USB-C cable, which can be connected to a power bank or into a socket. We send the USB-C cable automatically as part of the package.
The battery status can be found in the application, which shows what percentage of the battery is and when it will discharge.
How often is data collected and how long will it take to see it in the application?
Data is collected every 15 minutes and the transmitter sends it to our server every hour. In the winter months, we extend this interval to 2-4 hours according to the beekeeper’s request.
The information in the application is always up-to-date, it is updated as soon as new data arrives from the transmitter to the server.
What does the accuracy of the scale depend on?
For correct weighing, make sure that the surface under the weight is flat. In addition, the evenness of the hive bottom and the weight distribution in the hive are important.
Where to place the sensor correctly?
The beekeeper can choose whether to place the sensor between the frames or in the entrance, depending on where he wants to measure temperature and humidity. The sensor between the frames measures values close to the brood chamber and the sensor located in the entrance measures pretty much the outside temperature.
Is it possible to recognize swarming in any other way than weight?
Not yet. We are currently working on this as part of our research and would like to launch this function next year. Swarming can be indicated by a change in the audio frequency of recordings 2-3 weeks in advance.
What if the transmitter loses the signal?
In the event that the signal at the site just drops out (for example due to a broken transmitter from the GMS provider or very bad weather), the data is stored in the cache of the transmitter and sent when the transmitter manages to connect to the server again. The transmitter can hold the data up to 3 days. So you don’t have to worry about losing your data.
Can the device report the hive theft?
This is a feature that our monitoring devices do not yet have, but we are working on as we find it very important.
Why is the delivery time European spring 2021?
We have been on the market only since 2019 and we produce equipment in waves. This year’s spring, summer and September deliveries are already sold out and we will deliver the next wave with the beginning of the next European beekeeping season. This way it is easier for us to keep track of when we ship devices with what features. And also this way we have the opportunity to add features every time we start working on a new wave.
Finally, the basic legal reading: