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Bee Science Farm to use recycled Tesla batteries in instrument trailer

Weather protection and safety guidelines require an enclosure.

An important part of the Bee Science Farm mission is to develop techniques to monitor and report pollinating insect population changes over time. We need a consistent source of power to operate the two-dozen ground mounted microphones, amplifiers and data recorders, not to mention the computer and the wifi link. This is a big challenge.

Some other creative people have figured out how to do this within a small space of a utility type cargo trailer.  Here is an interesting website that shows a food cart powered by a used Tesla battery and the image here is from that site. 

Tesla batteries are very expensive, require exact charge controls, and can't be allowed to freeze or be overcharged.  Our system will use two Tesla Model S battery packs salvaged from wrecked cars. The control electronics consist of a charge controller that takes voltage from the roof mounted solar panels, an inverter, and temperature and other controls.  Over 4.5 kWh per battery pack can be expected which is amazing considering one pack weighs only 55 pounds. Unfortunately, even this amount of power will not run all of our instruments, let alone the needed irrigation pump for phase 2.  Another problem has been the safety of the Tesla batteries which can catch fire if overcharged, requiring us to abandon our hope of unattended operation. Yet another concern is security, even thought the neighbors (pretty far away) are supportive, there is always the potential for human and animal mischief, requiring even more power to run the alarm and electric fence that will surround the instruments to keep curious browsers away from expensive cables.

Right across the street on Bay Rd. behind Pride gas station is a Tesla charge station! Interesting coincidence, or fate?

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Bee Science field in Hadley Surveyed

On Friday we had our surveyors out at the Hadley field to mark the boundaries of the future Bee Science Farm in Hadley.  Over 7 acres were marked out, and even though there are corn and potatoes growing, it is clear that many native and domesticated bees are visiting the various existing wildflowers and weeds. The North side of the farm is located next to a busy road, but is well shielded by a stream and a lot of overgrown bittersweet - some that we intend to remove to try to save the trees being choked by that invasive vine.  Along the road there were numerous honeybees already present, though we don't know the location(s) of any local hives.

The day was partly overcast and not too hot, so the work went smoothly and comfortably! We are thankful for the great job Surveyors Eaton & Associates of Hadley performed.

Were there any surprises? Yes! The property seems much bigger than we expected, probably because you cannot access the North end from the South due to the stream and t…

Location of the old hives

Along Bay Rd. we have a triangular piece of elevated land where the existing hives are located.  I spent several hours trying to reach where two of the hives are as the bittersweet had grown in so densely I couldn't get past it!  Also found was buckthorn. That's for another day. Lots of invasive species along that entire roadway choking the trees and even killing a big elm that is now in danger of falling.

This portion is a good 10-15' higher than the field, and there is a utility pole with power and cable on the corner, and a utility shed owned by the town.

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