Camera + Cellular + Solar for occasional updates?

TheWaterbug

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As an amateur beekeeper I'm regularly called on to remove hanging swarms of feral bees from people's trees, mailboxes, gate posts, etc. My typical method is to scrape 90% of the bees into a standard bee box, hope I get the queen in there, and then leave the box on the ground near the original ball of bees until nightfall. If I did get the queen inside, all the other bees will follow her in.

I'd like to have a low-cost way of monitoring their progress remotely during the hours that I'm waiting for this to happen.

Can anyone suggest a relatively low-cost, reliable bundle of stuff that can do this? I think I'd need a camera with built-in cellular, plus a solar panel and a small battery. I'd need the battery because I'd want to check progress in the ~1 hour after sundown to know if the bee traffic has settled down, so I know if it's time to drive back to the site and pick up the box of bees.
 

TheWaterbug

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Image quality is not all that important; I just need to be able to see if bees are coming and going or not.
 

Old Timer

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I'm ok
It could be done.
I know a good optima blue top ran 2 cameras and a DVR for 3 days when I lost power in my barn.
No solar cell to recharge it.
 

biggen

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Low cost is relative but you are looking at $1k just to get started with solar and cellular. Probably gonna be closer to $2k. There is no all-in-one solution that is worth a damn. It would have to be a custom job. Panel, charging controller, battery, camera, cellular modem, enclosure, cellular data plan (monthly charge) etc.. plus the knowledge of how to hook it all up and get it working properly. It wouldn't be very portable either because of battery/panel size.
 

biggen

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And that may work for what you are doing. It’s Reolink so we know it’s junk but for bees it may “be“ just fine. It a hell of a lot cheaper than I could build it. The camera alone for a solar build would cost that from Dahua.
 

biggen

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Looking over that camera I don’t know that it can do always on recording. I think it’s motion activated only which would be why the battery life claim is so long. A constantly running camera and cellular modem is a big power drain.

Who knows if the sensitivity of the camera could be adjusted enough to pick up bees.
 
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