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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

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Beekeepers face challenges when they monitor the health of their honeybee colonies, and winter poses increased risk because opening a hive in cooler temperatures to collect data can be fatal to bees. A pair of electrical and computer engineering students and their advisor, a beekeeper himself, have found a solution to this problem.

Schmitz (left) and Sankey slot the first sensor in an outdoor beehive. A second sensor is housed inside the lab’s Waggle World so Sankey can compare the bees’ overwintering survival in hives both indoors and outdoors.
Chris Schmitz (left) and Ali Sankey slot a sensor into an outdoor beehive. A second sensor is housed inside the lab’s Waggle World so Sankey can compare the bees’ overwintering survival in hives both indoors and outdoors.

WaggleNet is a wireless monitoring system which collects data on the temperature and humidity inside beehives. Developed by Jimmy He, a sophomore in computer engineering and his teammate, Xiaolin Wu, a sophomore in electrical engineering, the WaggleNet system is currently in its first phase. ECE senior lecturer and undergraduate advisor Chris Schmitz calls this “an extension of the Internet of Things (IoT) for getting beyond the house.”

Read the full article with video and additional photos on the College of Engineering page.

Written By
Heather Coit
Date Published
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College of Engineering