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System to detect the passage of small animals through an opening

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A monitoring device capable of detecting the passage of small animals, such as bees, to support beekeepers monitor the number of bees entering and leaving the hive. The device is inserted into the entrance structure of the hive, and is practically invisible to the bee, and therefore does not alter the insect’s behaviour.

Technical features

The system comprises a first capacitor and a second capacitor arranged sequentially perpendicular to the plane of the aperture. Each of the capacitors is made up by two electrodes – one of which may be common – intended to be placed in front of the aperture in a U shape. This solution is very effective for monitoring the passage of animals without disturbing their habits, as the particular U-shape of the electrodes lends itself to a simple and rapid installation that does not alter the walking surface on which the animals move. An evaluation unit is electrically connected to the two capacitors to evaluate the change in capacitance of the two capacitors produced by the passage of an animal through the opening.

Possible Applications

  • Monitoring the health status of a beehive;
  • Detecting the presence of hive depopulation syndrome;
  • Detecting the passage of other small animals, e.g. insects, and mice.


  • Accurately monitors the simultaneous passage of animals through the different channels of the crossing module;
  • The bulkhead makes it possible to reduce possible interference between groups of condensers monitoring adjacent channels
  • It can be easily placed on a plane in front of an opening to be monitored;