The New BroodMinder-SubHub
Finally, indication of brood rearing, swarms, hive strength, and mating flights have become easier to detect and actionable with the new BroodMinder-SubHub.
The -SubHub is a Bluetooth range extender and a high speed data vault in a box about the size of a TV remote. Place the -SubHub near your hives and it will pick up data from your BroodMinder devices and retransmit them over 1,000 feet (330 meters) away, allowing you to collect data without standing directly in your apiary. The new -SubHub features a turbo-transfer protocol, a month's worth of data from 50 devices in 2 minutes, and an extended battery life.
Our team has been working on the BroodMinder-SubHub and MyBroodMinder ecosystem for over a year to make it easy and reliable. We feel it is a game changer and that you will love it.
Here are a few possible scenarios:
Setting: Your BroodMinder enabled hives are 500 feet from a building with power and you have an old cell phone.
Configuration: Put the -SubHub in the middle of your hives and the cell phone in the building. Run the apiary app in hub mode.
Outcome: Your hive data will be sent up every 10 minutes. In the event of a swarm, you will receive an email or text message as soon as it is detected, allowing you to act accordingly.
Setting: This apiary is remote and there is no power nearby. You are already set up with a BroodMinder-Hub. However, some of your hives or swarm traps are 700 feet away.
Configuration: Put the -SubHub near the hives. Since the -SubHub also measures temperature, you can place it inside the swarm trap to detect when bees move in. You can have multiple -SubHubs feeding the BroodMinder-CELL/WIFI hub if you wish.
Outcome: More of your apiary can be monitored with minimal cost. Temperature increase in swarm traps will show on MyBroodMinder.com when bees move in.
NOTE: We are close to releasing our new BEES app which is required for this scenario. We anticipate full release in June.
Setting: This apiary is remote and there is no power and no cell tower nearby..
Configuration: Put the -SubHub near the hives. It will record data from all the nearby BroodMinders.
Outcome: When you visit your apiary, you can read all of the the data from all of the hives in less than a minute. You will be able to view this data with the upcoming BroodMinder-Bees app in a manner similar to MyBroodMinder. Then you can send the data to MyBroodMinder when you arrive back in civilization.
For the folks that love all of the technical details...
The -SubHub is using the same circuitry that our BroodMinder-W2 uses. It uses a Silicon Labs, long range Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) module. We have measured the advertising range of the module with an iPhone 11 at greater than 1000 feet. We got usable data at 1700 feet.
By using 4 AA batteries, we have much more power to play with. This enables us to listen for BroodMinder devices for 20 seconds every ten minutes with anticipated battery life greater than a year.
There is a one megabyte memory added to store the log data. This allows us to store 35,000 records or roughly data from 100 devices for two weeks (or less devices for longer, you can do the math). The -SubHub has the capacity to keep track of 128 BroodMinder devices at one time.
The data will be read using BLE SPP (Serial Port Profile). We have timed transferring the entire 35,000 record log to take about 120 seconds using iOS and less than that for new Android devices (longer for phones 4 or 5 years old).
The final piece is in Advertising the data from the -SubHub. As mentioned above, the -SubHub listens for new data for 20 seconds every 10 minutes. It then modifies it’s BLE advertisement packet to ‘mock’ all of the BroodMinder devices it heard. The -SubHub advertises a different device every 5 seconds thus allowing data from 12 BroodMinders to be sent every minute which means over 100 devices in 10 minutes.
We have established these parameters in order that the batteries last at least a year. While they will be adjustable for special circumstances, we feel that the standard setup will cover 99% of the cases.
Of course there are many, many details in making the pieces fit together seamlessly and to be supported by the equipment in the field. And, as always, during deployment we will be watching closely.