Welcome to the Combplex blog! Combplex is a young bee science company founded by two Cornell University Ph.D. students. Our goal is to help commercial beekeepers keep their colonies healthy as they move around the country by using remote electronic devices that monitor colony health.
Combplex grew out of a research collaboration between electrical engineer turned data scientist Nathan Oakes and honey bee scientist Hailey Scofield. Hailey's research at Cornell focuses on honey bee colony temperature and how honey bee behavior changes as a result of temperature differences during development. There isn't a whole lot known about how the honey bee colony environment changes over time, mainly because bees and monitoring electronics don't go well together. Why? Colonies are very messy. Bees chew through plastic. Honey is conductive. Bees destroy your heat-shrink. You need to have power near your hive. Everything outside the hive needs to be extra waterproof. And mouse proof. And bee proof. The bees will short out exposed components. The workers will propolize everything, the honey will erode metal... The list feels endless. Especially when you are out in a colony trouble shooting prototypes covered in honey and bees.
Combplex uses the imaginative ingenuity of a beekeeper and electrical engineer to get around these problems, allowing us a secret portal into the internal life of a colony's homeostatic environment. This secret portal looks a lot like random numbers, but through the eyes of a bee researcher and a data analyst, these numbers tell a detailed story. Combplex gives those eyes to you.