Category: barcelona

the BEE monitoring project

Since 2009, Okno is researching the co-evolution between city honeybees and urban ecosystems in its OpenGreens and Bee Monitoring programs. Bee colonies are now threatened in all industrialized nations. Given that the survival of bees is crucial for human sustainability, there is a great urgency to improve by all means the ways in which colonies could thrive.
The research program surveys in an artistic way the multiple fields of interaction between honeybees and the (urban) ecosystem. It is remarkable to see how a bee population functions and evolves very much in accordance to the human activities we are developing around them: gardening and (urban) agriculture. The production of honey is different related to the flowers we grow, the plants we like, the garbage or pollution we produce. Bees are very responsive to the different biotopes that we share. Though we seem to have rather few insight into what constitutes the diversity of our surrounding living place, and that’s something we want to research on a deeper level. As bio-markers, bees can give us valuable information about living conditions in our continuous productive urban landscapes.

To monitor the bees in a non-intrusive way we are building Intelligent Beehives. These are hives that are augmented with sensors and sensory processing algorithms that analyse the quality of pollen and propolis as well as the behavior of the bees in order to monitor the state of the ecology in the surrounding areas. In a first research phase, the people’s hive of Abbé Warré was adapted to the grid of the Open Structures project. The new Warré-hives are a collaboration between OKNO Brussels, Fab Lab Barcelona and Sony Computer Science Lab in Paris. The Intelligent Warré Beehives are distributed in a European network, the data are available online and the creation of local biological Corridors can be consulted in realtime.

Okno Brussels, media – art – ecology : http://okno.be and http://opengreens.archive.okno.be
Fab Lab Barcelona : http://fablabbcn.org
Sony Computer Science Lab Paris : http://www.csl.sony.fr

more info on http://annemariemaes.net/14012013-open-structures-beehives/

Valldaura Bee Monitoring – part02

In April, OKNO organized a two-part bee monitoring workshop at Valldaura Self Sufficient Lab in Barcelona.
Prior to the event some of the Fab Lab Academy students had been building several beehives – one of which will be put in OKNO’s rooftop garden – making use of Warré’s principles and the OpenStructures system to make them more sustainable.
They had equally been developing a sensor-equipped measuring device that tracks the temperature and humidity changes on the inside and outside of the hive and as such reveals how ecological factors affect the bees’ behavior.
The Valldaura interns had been using material found in the surroundings to create a natural structure that will offer coolness and shadow to the Valldaura beehive on hot summer days.

During the first part of the workshop, the hive was assembled and placed in the area that had been prepared for it, and the appropriate technology was fabricated. The second series of working sessions was used to transfer a colony of European dark bees from the Catalan inland region to their brand-new home on the Valldaura premises. The pieces of technology were connected and set to work using solar panels, ready for studying the bees as bio markers disclosing environmental health.
Self Sufficient Labs, Valldaura, Barcelona

more info on: http://annemariemaes.net/workshops-at-valldaura-bcn/

Valldaura Bee Monitoring – part 01

Can Valldaura, located on the border between city and forest, between technology and nature. It houses the Self Sufficient Labs of Barcelona, working with local business, cutting-edge technology, leading academic institutions and grassroots Permaculture activists. The project reaches out to anyone wanting to explore the dynamic edge created as these different worlds collide. And to those inspired by the idea of studying the interface and interactions of urban and natural landscapes, to develop ecologically designed systems that have the stability of nature while still providing the daily needs of the Valldaura community and leisure and resources for the local population.

A workshop on the monitoring of bees and their immediate ecology is part of the permaculture master course.
The workshop is developed by Annemie Maes (OKNO, Brussels) Jamie Nicol, Ana Martinez, Claudia Nieto (Self Sufficient Labs Valldaura), John Rees, Ferran Masip, Jonathan Minchin (Fablab Barcelona).


Can Valldaura – the Self Sufficient Labs and Green FabLab.

About

thursday 11/4
– introduction to bee monitoring
– introduction to the Intelligent Beehive project
– introduction to the production of Intelligent Beehives at the fablab
– installation of the OpenStructures Warré hives at Valldaura (search for best place)

friday 12/4
– about sensors and smart citizen shields for beehives
– install sensors in the Warré hives
– connect the sensors to the internet
– map the hives on the smart citizen map
– reconnect the Ciutdella beehives

saturday 13/4
– map the vegetation of the foraging areas at Valldaura
– map the vegetation of the foraging areas at Fablab BCN and Ciutadella
– build a herb spiral with melliferous and medicinal plants (permaculture)

permaculture magazine UK

more info on: http://annemariemaes.net/presentations/bee-laboratory-presentations-2/fab-lab-barcelona-3-workshops/

research in La Molina

La Molina, a nice ski resort in the Spanish Pyrenees, is a great place to join workmeetings and sports.
We brainstormed on the P2P Food Lab and the Intelligent Beehive projects, enjoyed homecooked local food specialities and tried out sledging and langlauf.

We discussed a few possibilities to design a complex system for measuring the temperature in a beehive while following the bee-nucleus in winter:

first hand diagram for thermistor temperature measurement

la Molina, the Catalan Pyrenees

barcelona workshop : urban bees, environmental sensors.

This workshop offers the opportunity to work at the intersections of artistic, scientific and technological practices in the field of urban beekeeping. Urban bees are quality sensors of the city where we live but, how can we capture and decode all the information they provide? During these two days, we will build and install a kit of sensors on a hive from the Three Dragon Castle, in Parc de la Ciutadella to obtain data from the inside and outside of the hive. Later, we will analyze and visualize data from a scientific and artistic point of view.
This first meeting aims to be the beginning of a community process among people looking for a sustainable city and committed to multidisciplinary and horizontal research.


home of the bcb bees : three dragons castle, parc de la ciutadella, barcelona

13 December (10-14 am, room N07T, University of Barcelona):
-Meet-up
-Open Green in Brussels (Annémie Maes, OKNO)
-Smart citizens (Tomás Diez, Fablab)
-Introduction to monitoring urban bees (Annémie Maes, OKNO and Tomás Diez, Fablab)
-BCNBees as sensors of the city.
Brainstorming to define the next meeting. What do we want to monitor? Why? When? Where? How? (All participants)
13 December (15-18 pm, room N06M, University of Barcelona):
-Theoretical introduction to the building of sensors (Tomás Diez, Fablab)
-Building the sensors
14 December (10-14 am, Ciutadella Park):
-Installation of the sensors on the beehives from Three Dragons Castle, Parc de la Ciutadella (Annémie Maes, OKNO and Maria Prestamo, beekeeper, Museu de Ciències Naturals)

more info on: http://annemariemaes.net/presentations/bee-laboratory-presentations-2/urban-bees-barcelona-workshop/

science festival Barcelona – june 16>17