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The first eHive with version number 0.1 was built by a school seminar of the "Deutschhaus-Gymnasium" in Würzburg back in 2014. This prototype was stocked with bees and operated for one year. During operation, data was collected on location. In 2015 it was replaced with the eHive 0.2 that was built in cooperation with the "Franz-Oberthür-Berufsschule". This version was shipped to our partners from the EU project. At first, it did not work properly, but until April 2016 amendments were applied. Since then the eHives work comparatively stable.
Since 2017 eHives are distibuted by the BeeBIT association. After the first two eHives, the design was slightly changed, but the functionality stayed the same. Hence, the eHive 1.2 is the only one that can be purchased at the moment. The weather station at all different versions of the eHive is the "Davis Vantage Pro 2 Plus Cable".
The eHive 0.2 exists in two models: As "Zander" hive (eHive 0.2.1) and as "Top-Bar-Hive" (eHive 0.2.2). At the beginning all eHives were Top-Bar-Hives, because these allow the bees to live closer to nature. A small hive with 13 not-preshaped honeycombs was used. In it six temperature sensors were obstucted and one outer honeycomb was replaced by a wooden separation board in order to distribute the sensors symmetrically. A humidity sensor is installed in the lower part of the hive.
The sensors' data go through a junction box on the side of the hive and are guided from there by a water-resistent RJ-45-cable with screw connectors until the data ends up in the actual junction box that contains all the electronic componentes. At some eHives this box is mounted on the other side of the eHive, at some it is attached to different support structures or is laying on the ground.
To offer compatibility with other hives some of the eHives were converted to other hive-types (other than the Top-Bar-Hive). During conversion only five temperature sensors were installed due to spatial limits. The weather station was attached to an external support. This produced different hights of the weather stations and their wind detectors and different distances to the corresponding eHive. For weather protection a roof had to be provided by the local institution. It was not possible to enforce this on all location.
The two hives of version 1.1 were built in early 2017 with the most strinking change being the new wooden outer case. It contains the eHive and all electronic components and serves as a weather protection. At this outer case the attachment for the weather station is mounted. The height of the weather station was defined to be 2 m and the height of the wind sensor 10 m. Both eHives are built as Top-Bar-Hives and have the dimensions of a Zander hive for 12 honeycombs at the top part. Between the combs six temperature sensors are installed. Both the temperature sensors' connection cables as well as the cables from the humidity sensor, the scale and the weather station are guided directly to the central junction box. This avoids unnecessary causes of defect. Because no more eHives of version 1.1 are planned, this version does not exist in other hive types than the Top-Bar-Hive.
The eHive 1.2 is almost identical to version 1.1, only some changes at the outer case were made. It is enlarged by a removable heightening in order to support hive types with multiple honeycomb boxes. Furthermore, the roof is divided into two parts. This simplifies the usage and allows a waterproof lead through of the weather station's mounting rod though the smaller non-removable roof. The first eHive of version 1.2 was shipped in early 2019. Since then, it can be purchased with different hive types (almost all popular types as well as Top-Bar-Hive).