Hive Types - Part 5: The Future of Hives - The HyperHyve with Mike James (S3, 52)


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This is without doubt, the most technologically advanced, commercially available, honey bee hive monitoring system developed so far.

Mike James has a background in home automation and when he started keeping bees not all that long ago, a first thought was supporting his package bees with some insulation. And, to no one’s surprise, his insulated package colonies took off faster than those in his regular hive boxes. So, he developed an insulating technique using a polycarbonate foam sprayed on the inside of his boxes, moving them from a R-0.75 value to an R-6 value. The walls are about 1.75” thick, and the box is about 10% heavier than his old boxes, but the behavior changes he saw were pretty conclusive. But how to monitor?

So, he began adding devices built into the hive itself. The floor became a both a scale that would transmit weight changes to your cell phone or computer, and a heating device, that can heat the internal temperature of the hive to about 103F to kill varroa but not bees. Temperature and CO2 are monitored, plus there’s a GPS device, an accelerometer to tell if the hive is moving, and an organic compound sensing device that will tell you what’s coming into the hive that maybe shouldn’t be coming into your hive. And all of this is powered by 2 solar panels on the roof.

The boxes interlock with busses, therefore the monitoring is maintained no matter how high the tower gets, so all the boxes are talking to each other. There are two doors on the front that can be automatically opened and closed, and the built-in queen excluder also contains both the temperature and humidity monitors so you can see exactly what’s going on right in the brood nest.

The cover with its two solar panels sits on top and is 3 inches thick for maximum insulation, plus there are some ventilation ports that can be adjusted. The frames inside are just the same you have now, but there is no inner cover.

All these devices talk to each other, the data is plotted on your computer, and activities and changes are noted. So that this hive, by measuring all these variables, learns and can tell what will be in the future because of what it can measure now. Machine learning will be the next beekeeper. The future is here, now.

Listen to Mike explain the HyperHyve in this episode of Beekeeping Today Podcast!

Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:


We welcome Betterbee as sponsor of today's episode. BetterBee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer service, continued education and quality equipment. From their colorful and informative catalog to their support of beekeeper educational activities, including this podcast series, BetterBee truly is Beekeepers Serving Beekeepers. See for yourself at

Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping Today Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website:

This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode!

We want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a quarterly magazine destined for your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum.


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Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong"; Musicalman, "Epilogue". Original guitar background instrumental by Jeff Ott

Beekeeping Today Podcast is an audio production of Growing Planet Media, LLC