Hive Insight


The HIVE-INSIGHT system is a NodeMCU based data capture system for Bee Hives and Apiaries gathering environmental data such as temperature, humidity, CO2 and VOCs. Data from IN-HIVE located inside the hive is passed to the OUT-HIVE via a cable link. Using the MQTT protocol for communications and working over WiFi the OUT-HIVE will communicate with open-source and online (pending) MQTT Brokers. The data is gathered and processed by the Python based HIVE-INSIGHT subscriber which produces easy to interpret summaries and charts. The name HIVE-INSIGHT is a play on Byte Insight – a trading name we have used for some years for our software and website application development.

The MQTT Broker and HIVE-INSIGHT subscriber can be easily installed on a Raspberry Pi ( tiny and affordable computer) or on an alternative Unix flavoured machine. It should also be possible to use an online MQTT Broker with the subscriber running on a Windows machine (although this set up is untested).

For ease of development and prototyping we have selected to use STEMMA QT Breakouts from Adafruit. They provide clean and compact sensor units without the need for custom PCB fabrication.


The IN-HIVE unit is the internal hive unit. It can easily be installed above the crown board over a 35mm hole as shown below. The basic unit has stand-offs for:

The SHT31-D sensor has an excellent ±2% relative humidity and ±0.3°C accuracy. Meanwhile, the SGP30 sensor can detect a wide range of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and H2. It is intended for indoor air quality monitoring and will provide a value for Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC) and an equivalent carbon dioxide reading (eCO2)


The Out-Hive sensor bank consists of:



The greatest challenge of the circuit design is power distribution. The STEMMA QT links between Breakouts make the connections between I2C devices very easy but all five breakout streams need access to the GND and 3.3V outputs of the board.