Camera Project SP 2024 Final Report

Group Members: Charles Lai, Po-Jen Ko, Leo L

Purpose of the Project:

This project aims to build cheap, non-intrusive, and user-friendly bee-observing devices. The goal is to record the activities inside the beehives and send the data back to WaggleNet’s backend for further processing in real-time. The image and video data will be analyzed using object recognition for useful information such as the location of the queen bees and whether there is a mite infestation. Afterward, this information will be directly sent to the users(beekeepers) through the app the WaggleNet team developed to aid the beekeepers in managing their colonies. Furthermore, the data we stored in our backend will also be accessible to other bee researchers, solving the shortage of raw data regarding bees’ activities.

How does the project work:

We have a hive body with a transparent lid on the top(we have one for both 10 frames & 8 frames hive). To deploy the project onto any beehive, find the hive body with a matching size and stack the hive body on top of an existing colony. After that, put the camera module face down on the transparent lid to look at the frames. Connect power and wifi to the Raspberry Pi and run the programs on the Pi to start auto-capturing pictures through the camera module on the Pi. Currently, the pictures are only stored locally and not online yet. 

Components used:

  • Beehive lid adjustments
  • 3D-printed protection case with a transparent slider for the camera to look through
  • Raspberry Pi Python code
  • External hardware modules connected to the Raspberry Pi 3B+
    • IR light camera
    • Heat camera
    • IR light source 
  • Charles, Po-Jen, and Leo all contributed and are responsible for every component.


All the built components are stored in the box labeled ”Camera Project” stored under the WaggleNet bench. Related tools can be found in the toolbox of Wagglenet. Codes are stored locally on the Raspberry Pi. 

Abandoned/Future ideas:

Additional camera installation beneath the beehive (may be done in the future). 

Automatic image storage in Google Drive. (No progress since Addy’s absence).

New changes since last year:

  • Refinement of the 3D-printed protection case
  • Adjustments of beehive lids for use in the Robinson bee lab
  • Python code edits
  • Soldered external hardware modules
  • Lost PCB (but not necessarily needed)
  • Added heat camera module but currently image is not storable

Skill required/preferred to join:

  • Elementary Python programming skills
  • 3D modeling using Autodesk Fusion 360 (preferred)
  • Woodworking
  • Circuit design (KCL/KVL, MOSFETs) 
  • Arduino/Raspberry Pi exposure.