Hive Genie Installation Guide

Make sure you have all components

Solar panel with cables and solar charge controller and base
Two temperature and relative humidity sensors
Two weight sensors
One Hive Genie


Carefully open the Hive Genie unit by separating the gates from the top cover.  It is a pressure fit so just work it slowly while pulling the two parts away from each other.




 Now remove the board from the gate enclosure.



Now remove the opto board (the board with the gates, but we are engineers, we need to make it sound more interesting!) from the main board.  Pull straight and slowly, you don’t want to bend the connector pins.  Also, be careful on where you place your fingers.  You don’t want to know any components from the board.  It is better that you place your thumbs in the pin connectors.  That is the sturdiest of the soldered units.  Try not to touch anything else.  Although the components are not so fragile, you still don’t what to put pressure or any kind of force in them.  Refer to the picture below.  That is the safest way to handle the board.  Notice that the board is being handled by its edges.


Now, let’s give it some life!  We are going to connect the board to power. So first we need to make sure that the two longer cables, which will be connected later to the Hive Genie are not touching each other, or better yet disconnected.  Now, connect the battery to the battery terminals that are connected to the solar regulator.  These are the two central cables.  YOU HAVE TO BE SUPER CAREFUL AND CONNECT RED CABLE TO POSITIVE IN THE BATTERY AND WHITE OR BLACK TO NEGATIVE OTHERWISE YOU WIL CREATE A SHORT CIRCUIT AND MOST LIKELY A FIRE!  Refer to the pictures below.


Notice that the battery itself has the positive terminal colored in red. If not, it should have a + sign.   First connect the ground cable (black or white) to the negative terminal in the battery (-).  Now connect the red cable to the positive terminal (+). 

If connected correctly your solar regulator should have one, two or three of the battery LEDs (red) on.  If only one battery LED is on, it means your battery is not fully charged.  Two LEDs mean battery is normal and three means battery is fully charged.


If your solar regulator looks like this, you are ready for business!  Notice how the load cables are disconnected to prevent short circuits.  If you point your solar panel towards the sun or intense light, the Charge green LED will turn on, this means the solar panel is charging the battery, if it blinks it means the battery is fully charged.  The solar regulator will pass load to the Hive Genie only if the voltage is above 12.2 Volts.  That is when the Load green LED is on it means a load output is permitted.  If the load LED flickers, it means the load output overloaded or short circuited.  You need to revise your battery voltage or connections at this point.

Now, disconnect at least the positive terminal from the battery and connect the load cables into the solar regulator.  Always when connecting or disconnecting it is better to work without power to avoid short circuits or fires.   Make sure red is connected to positive and white or black to negative. 



Now, with the battery still disconnected, pass the load cables through the left hand side hole of the top Hive Genie cover.  If the hole is not open, you need to push it with a scre driver.  Connect the load cables to the Main board.




From now on, remember that you will have to pass every cable through this hole before connecting it to the Hive Genie.



OK, now study the picture below so you get familiarized with your board…



Then find the connector that reads POWER IN.  It is on the right hand corner of the board.  Connect the black or white cable to ground, which has a symbol that looks like a Christmas three.  Now connect the red cable to V+.  See pictures below for reference.






Wait a minute; don’t connect the battery just yet!  Double check positive is connected to positive in the board and the solar charger.  Click the power button on the board on and off.  On position is when the button is down or shorter.  Now turn it OFF and connect the battery terminal.  Again, make sure red is connected to positive and black or white to negative.  Now you can power your board ON.  You should see the LED on the front of the board flickering green (this means it is trying to connect to Wifi) and will eventually turn blue (this means it wasn’t able to connect, obviously, you haven’t selected the Wifi nor given it your password.  That is what we will do next.).

Turn your board off and download the ARDUINO IDE into your computer.  You can down load it here: latest version is 1.8.2, but that changes constantly.  Once you are done, open the program.  You will get a screen like this.




 Now connect a mini USB to the Hive Genie board and connect it to your computer with the board OFF but connected to the battery.  Now turn the board ON.  After you hear the connecting sound, in IDE go to Tools menu and then select Serial Monitor.


This will open a window where you will be prompted to input your Wifi Name.  If starts with Wifi start, Kick :1.  Kick:1 means the Wifi on the Hive Genie is working and has signal and it is trying to connect.





It will then fail to connect and will prompt you for a Wifi Name



No matter how many times it asks for the Wifi Name, you type it and send it only once! Then wait for the password request and same thing, type it only once.  Wifi name and password are case sensitive, so be careful.  The exact name of your Wifi can be seen in your computer at the internet access icon.





When you get setup done, it means you are connected to Wifi.  The LED on the board will start blinking very slowly (about once every 10 seconds or so) in green. 


Turn your board OFF and connect all the sensors making sure you pass the cables through the hole first!  Connect the cables always starting with the red for V+ or 5VDC and then work your way connecting the cables in the same order as they are in the cable or connected to the sensor.  That is RED, BLACK, SPACE and WHITE for the DHTs and RED, YELLOW, WHITE & BLACK for the LOAD sensors. 



Now, connect the opto board back with the main board, making sure you have it in the right orientation as in the picture below.  The words Hive Genie on the opto board should be close to DHT#2 on the main board.



Close the Serial monitor window on Arduino.  Turn your board on and immediately open another serial monitor window.  Now the Hive Genie should have your Wifi and password and should connect.  Shortly you will see the monitor printing something like this…



If you pass your fingers or a sheet of paper through the gates, you will see the count of bees entered or exited on the monitor window…  And a long string like this one:


GET/v1/1003/write?T1=0.00&RH1=0.00&W=2273655&L=35957&T2=0.00&RH2=0.00&B2=3&B1=3&V=1117 HTTP/1.1


Connection: close

This means you are transmitting.  Every time you pass an object through the gates you will see the count change…

Bees Entered = 4,  Bees exited = 3

Bees Entered = 4,  Bees exited = 4

Bees Entered = 5,  Bees exited = 4

Bees Entered = 5,  Bees exited = 5

Congratulations, you are done setting up.  Now, let’s install your Hive Genie in your hive!  NOW MARK DHT#2.  DON’T FORGET to do this!

First, let’s carefully assemble the enclosure.  Start with the gates assembly.  The LED should be pointing forward and the two legs of the gate enclosure should point towards the inside of the hive.




Now carefully pull the cables as you get the top enclosure in place.  Notice all the board components point to the back…




Now start your boards again, just to make sure nothing got disconnected… if you have buttons in your enclosure, you have to make sure you are able to turn the board on and off with them.  If you don’t have buttons, turn the board on before you close the enclosures completely.  Wait for the green LED blinking slowly and once you have it, it’s time to count real bees!



I really recommend you suit up and light a smoker!  Smoke your bees like a regular inspection and get your unit (still ON), battery, solar panels and sensors as close to the hive as possible.  Place the battery and solar panel in the ground. 


Place the Hive Genie into the Hive entrance and DHT#2 under the hive’s shade making sure if it rains it will not get flooded.  I hope you really marked it!




Place the load sensors under the front left and right of the hive.  And make sure the hive is leveled or tilted just a hair towards the front, that way rain water will not get into your hive.  You will need to raise the hive from the back in the approximate same height as the sensors.



Place DHT inside the brood box

Close the hive and place the battery and solar panel in its final place, making sure you point the solar panel South (if in the northern hemisphere or North if in the southern hemisphere) and block the rest of the hive entrance so the bees are forced through the gates.  It will take them a few minutes to reorient themselves and find the entrance again.  After a few minutes, it will be invisible to them…



Your hive should look something like this…




Congratulations, you just gave a cell phone to your bees!  You are now connected to your bees.  You will receive a separate instruction manual for the DATA base browsing.  It’s way simpler!  The hard part is over.

        improve your crop