Beehive monitoring with STM32L Bluetooth node mesh and LTE/WiFi/LoRa gateway


I want to start a bee monitoring project with low power consuption, stand alone audio processing/analysing and also affordable for smaller bee apiaries.

For now due to promising power consuption savings I prefer STM32L family with 32-bit ultra-low-power MCU with Cortex®M4F.

However, before I start to put work on STM32L4 Discovery Kit IoT Node with Avnet M14A2A Cellular Shield as a gateway and SensorTile development kit as a Bluetooth mesh option, I would like to know your opinion about best practice, based on your experience, what kind of things to be avoided and what things to consider, during the development of this type of open source project.

Plan is to build bluetooth v4.1 node mesh in every hive. Those bluetooth nodes would be with SD card that contains lookup table files with moust useful bee buzzing audio. MEMS digital microphones would periodically take samples of sound and with help of FFT compare those samples with lookup table on SD card. When some action is triggered, node sends notification to client through gateway interface on LTE, WiFi or MQTT server.

I will be happy to hear your suggestions.


Dear Guntis,

it looks like nobody answered your post back then. Sorry for that, we have been pretty busy during the summer. So, first things first: Welcome to our humble community!

Thanks for outlining your system design. While we haven’t looked into BLE communication until recently, the advent of the Espressif ESP32 or the Nordic nRF51822 is currently changing things a bit as it will bring BLE support for almost free. In particular, @poesel signaled interest in a BLE-based system design to accommodate multiple hives at the same location.

He introduces his idea within Markus aus Dortmund - ESP32/Gpy/BLE/LTE and – coming mostly from this – there have been different spinoff topics which you might want to rediscover through Topics tagged ble. Don’t be afraid that some posts are in German, the automatic translation feature might help you along [1].

We will be happy to hear more about how it is going with your system.

With kind regards,

  1. Just press this button below each post in order to translate the content into the language from your user preferences.
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I just reread your introduction and recognize that you might still be in the planning phase. So, I would like to know if you actually started evaluating and implementing something based on your preferences?

Depending on your requirements, the weigh scale and its sensor is most probably the most important subsystem of the whole system, so, based on our experiences, it is crucial to get things right with it.

While some of us prefer the HX711 ADC due to its cheapness, this sometimes comes at the price of abysmal quality of the corresponding breakout boards available on the market. You might want to revisit the resources about Topics tagged hx711 or even Search results for 'hx711' - Hiveeyes on this topic. Especially, I would like to point you to Erfahrungsaustausch und Diskussion zu verschiedenen Breakout-Varianten für den HX711 ADC and Analyse und Diskussion um eine korrekte Integration des HX711 in this very context.

Some others prefer the ADS1231 24-Bit ADC from Texas Instruments, however it might be difficult to get reasonable-priced reference implementations in form of a ready-to-go breakout board for it, see Breakouts für ADS1231/2/4. We will see what the future will bring here.

In any case but in the same spirit, you should go for a quality load cell like the Bosche Hx0A single point load cell. Different people here reported that they have not been satisfied with cheaper ones also available on the market. As we found out that most probably a big share of the world’s load cells might be produced in Xiamen, we assume that these [cheap] cells [on the market] are actually the ones which didn’t pass QA.

Hello Andrea, Thanks for Your great suggestions. I will check them out. For now I have finished schematic drawing in kicad and when pcb will be traced, will post some screenshots here. End up with stm32wb controller. For lora end up with semtech tranciever. For microphone end up with analog mems microphones. With wieght sencor end up with Your mentioned nx17, but after Your poust I am not shore anymore. For additional memory for model.h5 file end up with winbond spi flash. For now In softweare area stm32wb and lora chip with lora gateway can show temperature and humidity values in application area so still a lot to code with other interfeices. As a lora gateway and also as web interface with local data base end up with Rpi4 bechause there also is BLE 5 interface.

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