Nectar: A new project for connected hives in the Open-Air Laboratory for Smart Living

Nectar: A new project for connected hives in the Open-Air Laboratory for Smart Living


Montréal startup Nectar develops technologies that help beekeepers better understand the behaviour of bees in order to better protect them. As a result of its project in the Open-Air Laboratory for Smart Living, the startup will be able to characterize the data collected by sensors customized for the different behaviours of honeybees.

Ten to twenty-five hives will be installed and equipped with Nectar sensors. Hive data will be collected periodically and analyzed by the Nectar team and by researchers.

The initiative will build a large database cataloguing the different behavioural states of bee colonies. It will also create new data collection systems for hives in order to improve the startup’s monitoring services for beekeeper clients.

Starting this spring, the project is a collaborative effort with the University and will continue for 3 years.


The technology

The sensors installed in the beehives will measure temperature, humidity, sound and movement.

The data is transmitted wirelessly on the 2.4-GHz frequency band (ISM Band) and is received by an external device that relays data from all the surrounding hives via the LTE Cat-M1 network.




Field tests carried out as part of the Open-Air Laboratory for Smart Living

  • Artificial creation of phenomena specific to hives and bee colonies, including the presence of parasites, the swarming of a colony, or flight-stimulating movement
  • Labelling of data collected by sensors according to these different phenomena
  • Creation of algorithms for the characterization of these phenomena
  • New approaches to taking acoustic measurements of beehives
  • New wireless communication protocols (5G, LoRa)


For Nectar, this is an opportunity to:

  • Quickly and efficiently test their new inventions in a real apicultural context.
  • Improve hive monitoring services that Nectar provides to beekeeper clients.
  • Increase visibility in Montréal in order to raise awareness about the importance of bees in our environment and the seriousness of their drastic reduction in numbers in recent years.
  • Enhance recruitment or demonstrate the operation of the technology to clients.