Robotics

Automated Hive Controller extracts honeycombs in half the time

Automated Hive Controller extr...
The Hive Controller is currently on Indiegogo
The Hive Controller is currently on Indiegogo
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Up to 10 honeycombs can be held at once
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Up to 10 honeycombs can be held at once
Once the Hive Controller is in place, the user simply pushes a button to start it up
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Once the Hive Controller is in place, the user simply pushes a button to start it up
The Hive Controller is currently on Indiegogo
3/3
The Hive Controller is currently on Indiegogo
View gallery - 3 images

Beekeeping can be an arduous task, as keepers have to repeatedly bend over and lift wax/honey-laden honeycomb panels out of each hive. The Hive Controller is designed to help, by robotically lifting and collecting the honeycombs.

Made by Korean company Daesung (aka Smart Hive), the Hive Controller is simply placed on top of a hive, once that hive's lid has been removed by the user. The width of the device's powder-coated aluminum frame can be adjusted to fit hives of different sizes. Power is provided either by an extension cord plugged into an outlet, or by a battery pack – one charge should reportedly be good for about 50 hives.

Once the Hive Controller is in place, the user simply pushes a button to start it up. It then proceeds to lower a set of hooks into the hive, bringing up each honeycomb and hanging it in sequence on a built-in set of arms. As the honeycombs are pulled out, soft brushes run along both sides of them, brushing the bees off (reportedly) without harming them.

Up to 10 honeycombs can be held at once
Up to 10 honeycombs can be held at once

The Hive Controller proceeds to move forward on its rails, across the top of the hive, until all the honeycombs have been pulled out. It then notifies the beekeeper with an audio alert, so they can take the honeycombs off of the arms for honey extraction.

According to Daesung, the device can moved and operated by one person, and roughly halves the amount of time it takes to pull all of the honeycombs from one hive. It's claimed to weigh about 11 kg (24 lb), with the battery pack adding an extra 2 kg (4 lb).

The Hive Controller is not only an honoree in the CES 2021 Innovation Awards, but it's also presently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign. Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of US$2,100 will get you one – the planned retail price is $3,000.

It can be seen in action, in the video below.

Sources: Indiegogo, Smart Hive

인디고고 영상 | Start smart with HIVE CONTROLLER _ Indiegogo

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4 comments
Username
I'm not sure lifting this contraption and placing it on the hive and then removing it will spare the bee keeper's back.
buzzclick
Dramatizing the labor and sore backs of beekeepers is a cheap shot. Plus they still have to be there waiting for this gadget to do its thing, which doesn't actually extract the honey anyway, so it's basically an additional step to the workload.
Ironically, we haven't yet fully figured out what causes bee colony collapse disorder so this is a little premature.
Philip Shelton
I’ve been a beekeeper for 15 years. There is no way to get power to any of my yards. And the weight of carrying batteries that can only do 50 hives just is not practical. You are talking about 30lbs of gear lifted on top of double deeps plus and supers. A stand, 2 deeps and 2 supers have you lifting this thing three feet in the air.
And then there is the issue of propolis sticking the frames to the hive body. I can see some broken frames right off the bat.
I run double deeps, so the supers are at a good height for lifting. Not sure why they show the robot lifting deeps. Honey harvest is done in shallow supers. And all the robot does is lift the frames higher. You still have to remove the frames from the robot to extract the honey.
And lets not even talk about that price....
Biscuitcutter
I completely agree with all the other comments here. This device will provide only marginal benefit to the honey extraction process. There is a MUCH better way to do this. It extracts the honey without having to break down (or even open) the hive, and does not require uncapping and spinning the frames and then reassembling the hive. Go here for details https://www.honeyflow.com/