Why a bee counter? While a scale can reveal honey flows, spring build up and the general health of the hive, it doesn't answer all the questions. In discussing <a href=http://hivetool.org/management/management.html#die_off>fall die off</a> with Dr. Wayne Esaias, he suggested that to really see what was going on, a bee counter was needed.
<a href=/counter/index.html>R&D into a visual bee counter</a> using inexpensive USB cameras and openCV has begun, thanks to Dr. Esiaes' suggestion, Blair's introduction to <a href=http://opencv.org/>OpenCV</a> (Open Source Computer Vision Library) and to the Intel Research Pittsburgh's paper "Video Monitoring of Honey Bee Colonies at the Hive Entrance", by Campbell, Mummert, and Sukthankar:</a>
Optical Bee Counters:
The earliest reference to a bee counter that could be found is an article by G. A. Cozens in <a href=cozens1.html>Everyday Electronics May, 1972</a>.
Another early reference summarizing work done by G.A. Buckley, L.G. Davies and D.T. Spindley is found in the <a href=bds_counter.html>Proceedings of the British Pharmacological Society, 13th-15th September, 1978.</a>
<a href=US6910941.pdf>Patent Number 6,910,941</a> Bromenshenk et al. assigned to University of Montana
<a href=http://www.instructables.com/id/Honey-Bee-Counter/>Instructables: Honey Bee Counter by hydronics</a>
<a href=http://beealert.blackfoot.net/~beealert/hivemont/counter.php>Bee Alert Technology</a>
Video Bee Counter:
<a href=vaib9_mummert.pdf>Video Camera Bee Counter</a> <a href=http://homepages.inf.ed.ac.uk/rbf/VAIB08PAPERS/vaib9_mummert.pdf>Intel Research Pittsburgh, Video Monitoring of honey Bee Colonies</a>