This is a series of workshops in which we try to understand the distributed intelligence of social insects (focused on the bee colonies): their behaviour, ecology and sociobiology. By monitoring the bees and beehives with all kinds of sensors, we study the colony as a community. We document this research with all kind of media (photo, film, audio, text, code) and we will use the extracted data to make artworks based upon the bees behaviour over time. We try to connect nature and technology in a new relationship of interconnections.

Since 2010 OKNO is setting up bee-monitoring systems. Last year, the bees were faster than us, and the technology was half ready when the bees started to swarm and went into their new home (not yet equipped with sensors and other stuff …).

This year, we hope to be on schedule. We’ve set up 2 bee-monitoring workshops, in which we gather and exchange the experience of beekeepers, bee-technologists, bee-monitors, or just people interested in bees and their behaviour. We will be 8 people to work during 2 days in a very concentrated way on new bee-houses (see below) and enhanced beehives. Some of you have already experimented with specific parts of the technology (sensors). let’s see how we can make the best out of it by putting construction, hardware, software and bee-behaviour knowledge together.

The purpose is to develop a device that can serve for bee-monitoring in an extended network (local & international). We want to offer the observation-data online in realtime via a dedicated server, and we want to be able to compare the data forthcoming from different beehives. Will we end up with a stand-alone bee-monitoring device to add to the hive, or will it be a manual on how to augment your own beehive to fit into the network. Time will tell!

To schedule our research and for purposes of documentation, we divided the work into parts, which all will have their pages on the wiki where participants can add information:

1. The Theory + Reading List
2. The new BeeHives + ObservationBeehives
3. The Data Harvesting (Technology)
4. The Artworks and Projects
5. The HoneyComb

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