About us

How did I join the community of beekeepers

Electrotechnics high school, and then on Technical University, Faculty of Electrotechnics, field of study Radio-electronics. I have been developing monitoring and controlling systems, measuring devices for gas-fitting companies, industrial automats, hand computers with the ARM processors, components of household automation based on the technologies GSM, GPRS, RF, and I have designed antennas for microwave band and television wiring. For example, I have completed the project of a coffee machine automat with monitoring function via SMS, RFID readers, operation system, for 8- and 16-bit microcontrollers, household automation. I have developed more than 150 devices. The company for the development of the electronics was established in 1999. In 2009, I have founded the company Vorlon I have been interested in the electrotechnics when I was 8 years old. I was studying at Technology s.r.o., and I am dealing solely with the development since 2012. In 2017, I have founded the company Operchips.r.o., which is currently the business company producing the scales for beekeepers.

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An idea to create a system for beekeepers came in 2011, when I had to choose, where I will use my long-term experience from the previous developments of intelligent houses – where we have developed complete system for controlling and monitoring the houses, including the hardware and software. Beekeepers needed to monitor and secure their apiary stations on the locations without the electricity or internet cable connection. And with such technologies I deal all my life. In the cooperation with the research office of apiculture in LiptovskýHrádok, as well as in the cooperation with Specialized high school “pod Bánošom” in BanskáBystrica, we have designed the electronic hive scales with the sensors and security system with the functions, which are practically needed for remote hives´ monitoring and apiary stations via SMS and internet, and also email. Since 2013, we test our scales at our apiary station in High Tatras. 

What have we done for beekeepers

The first electronic scales had a big central tensiometer and metal or stainless-steel welded profiles with integrated electronics in waterproof box with controlling function via SMS and monitoring on WEB server. The entire software was written in C programming language and ran on one-chip microcontroller with external memory of the program. We have introduced it at the end of 2012 at the XVIII.  International Conference of Improvers and Investors in Apiculture, and it won the first place in the category of professional beekeepers. 

After several years of testing and improving the functions, we have designed a conception for electronic scales, which would be affordable for all beekeepers. We tried to create the hive scales from reinforced glass and with cauterized metal support stand. Two prototypes have been tested for several years. 

Another attempt was with wooden scales made of waterproof board covered in plastic foil, which would comply with the criteria necessary for practical use for beekeepers. Thus, we have created several versions of wooden scale. We had to redesign the electronics to smaller size and to add some new functions. 

Gradually, we have come to the seventh version of the electronics, which is designed accurately for beekeepers, and it is also affordable for everyone. It has following functions; however, not all of them are commercially available yet: 

  1. One-chip microcontroller with external memory of the program and data.
  2. Data memory EEPROM for storing of measured data until they will be transferred automatically to the WEB server into the data storage, where they can be analyzed in the graphs.
  3. Accelerometer –location sensor, sensor of vibrations and motion. 
  4. GSM modem for remote communication via SMS, email or internet via GPRS network.
  5. GSM antenna.
  6. Two inputs for the security system for magnetic detectors or IR passive detectors of motion.
  7. Switching relay 2A for turning on the siren or a light for the security system.
  8. Two 24-bit convertors for measuring the weight of two platforms.
  9. Charger of lithium-ion accumulators.
  10. Charging of the accumulator from solar cell. Either from 5 V or via stabilizer, which is n the electronics from the 12 V one.
  11. External input of 5V for charging the accumulator from the adapter.
  12. Switching source, which enables to power the electronics from 5 to 25 V.
  13.  Measuring of accumulator capacity condition.
  14. RS232 interface for the communication with the PC.
  15. Bluetooth 3.0 with integrated antenna on electronics board. For the configuration of the scales via mobile app and transfer of images from the photo-trap to mobile phone. 
  16. Module with the SIM card, for nano SIM card or Chip SIM MFF2M2Mcard.
  17. Microphone for listening in the area.
  18. Pre-amplifier with program-controlled amplification and active filters for the analysis of bee buzzing – amplitude and buzzing frequency.
  19. I2Cinterface for connecting the LED display, and temperature and humidity sensor.
  20. 1Winterface for connecting various sensors.
  21. Two analogue inputs for thermistors to measure the temperature of tensiometers and their correction of measurements dependent on ambient temperature.
  22. Input for waking the electronics up from the sleep.
  23. Module RF 868MHzwith integrated antenna for wireless radio communication with other hives and photo-trap, or other electronics within the apiary station.
  24. Module GPS/GLONASS with external antenna.
  25. Possibility to change the GSM module for module NB IOT for wireless network of the internet.

We have also developed a simple version of hive scales, which can measure only the weight of the hive, or the drops and growths, and to show these values on LED display by putting the magnet next to the scale. It contains lithium-ion accumulator, which can be charged by solar cell or USB charger. It is affordable and usable for all beekeepers, who have their hives near their houses. 

Who are our partners

By the end of 2018, we have started the cooperation with the company  Pokorný Dačice  from Czech Republic in the development and electrification of plastic beehives, which the company PokornýDačiceproduces. Thus, we have created a concept of intelligent hive, where we would measure and process data necessary for the assessment of behavior of bee colonies, and for securing the hives, as well  as the apiary station, against the thieves and animals. We have developed plastic scales under wooden hives and plastic hives, integrated into the assembly of plastic hives made by Pokorný Dačice. 

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The parts of an intelligent hive:

  1. Hive weight measuring – growths, drops and their assessment. Number of bees, how much honey they produced. When the hive is busy, how high is the stock in the hive, etc...
  2. Ambient temperature and humidity measuring. 
  3. Measuring of the temperature, humidity and buzzing in the cradle. These values will help analyze the behavior of the colony in the cradle, such as swarming, increased humidity, increased or decreased temperature, bee diseases.
  4. Camera in the super – finding the bee ticks, health condition of bees.
  5. Vibration detection.
  6. Raindrops sensor.
  7. Heating the hive for the elimination of bee tick.
  8. Connector for connecting the security system and siren.
  9. LED display for monitoring the weight without a mobile phone or activated SIM card.
  10. Input for charging the accumulator.
  11. Solar panel for the super to charge the accumulator automatically.
  12. No cables; electronics integrated in the wall of the hive; transfer of the current and communication via flexible contacts on the supers.

Náš tím

Ing. Radoslav Chovan