Thursday, December 21, 2017

My mission in 2018

Facts about Apiary Book
- The most appreciated application for apiary management, downloaded by more than 50.000 beekeepers from all over the world.
- The most complex and complete mobile application for Android smartphones and tables (50 modules, graphs, statistics).
- Translated into 13 different languages with the help of passionate beekeepers from around the world.
- Monthly updates (new features, various improvements, bug fixes)
- Continuous feature improvements (including feedback received from users)
- 4.5 rating on Google Play
- Strong community


My mission in 2018
Future plans include the following:
- data synchronization between different devices using cloud
- new version for team collaboration
- communities
- development of a web version

Thank you to all beekeepers that are using Apiary Book, I hope that you can take better decisions using this application and help bees!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Hive transfer

In case you changed the hearth of beehives (new location) or just want to move the hives between existing apiaries, use the Transfer to feature:

1. Select the hive from Hives list
2. In the top right, tap ⁝ (option menu)
3. Choose Transfer to
4. The current apiary of the hive is selected by default (i.e. Apiary 3)
5. Select destination apiary (i.e. Apiary 1)
6. Press OK
7. The hive is transferred to the new apiary/hearth



Also, in case that honey bee colonies are moved for crop pollination and honey production, the following steps must be done:
  • create another apiary for the new location
  • move hives
  • add forages, check weather etc.


Friday, December 8, 2017

50 thousands downloads

In 2014 I decided to buy an apiary and start my beekeeping activities.
One year later, I started to develop an mobile application to help me recording of information in the field of beekeeping.

In 2 years, Apiary Book became the appreciated application by beekeepers. I continuously improved the features (including feedback received from users) and now is the most complex, complete and innovative application for apiary management, downloaded by more than 50.000 beekeepers from all over the world.



I would like to thank my contributors, whose efforts over last 2 years have made this application available to users around the world (http://www.apiarybook.com/credits.html)

And I want to thank all users that are using Apiary Book, I hope that using this application a beekeeper will make better decision and help bees.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Commitment to bees

Meat the team behind Apiary Book

Gordian Kramer

"Beekeepers have a good relationship with bees. In addition to the honeybee there are about 750 different wild bee species in Germany, which do without the beekeeper. These bees are often specialists who can pollinate only a few varieties of flowers. In addition, wild bees often live alone in burrows or holes in deadwood. These habitats are becoming less and less due to the increasing sealing of soils in Germany.
We from Nei'gschmeckt Imkerei Kramer are committed to the wild bees and the honeybee.
In the summer of 2017, we rebuilt a drywall in a former vineyard in Altbach. The wall has an area of ​​32m² and was built by hand as it used to be in former times. It was about 30m³ earth shoveled by hand. And about 35to sandstone piled up to this massive wall."



"In this wall, many wild bees like the red sand bee, the trouser bee and the mason bee find new nesting sites. So that the bees will not only find new nesting sites but also be able to collect enough pollen and nectar for the brood in the next year, we would see a wildflower mixture in the spring of 2018.
We get the seed from network Flowering landscapes With this network, we have a strong partner who offers us valuable support in our work with the bees."


Meet the team behind Apiary Book

My name is Gordian Kramer, I am the translator of the app ApiaryBook/Bienenhaus Buch from English into German. Like the others I translate the app in the spare time. I am thrilled with the app. It makes it possible to keep the overview in the apiculture. And always be able to retrieve the data.

My wife and I started with the beekeeping in 2016. We started with 3 colonies. We came to the beekeeping, because we bought a property, the whole was lost. We have to remove the scrub and realize that we did not just want to work. After a while when we discovered an old bee house. We decided to bring bees to the property.

Now two years later we have done a lot for the honeybee and the wild bees. For example, we planted 1000 crocuses to allow the bees a good start into the new year. In autumn we planted 9 fruit trees. Last year we rebuilt a dry wall for wild bees. The wall is 24 m long and has an area of ​​35 m². In the spring of 2018 we will see the first flower meadow. The flowers are helpful for wild bees survive. And we want to rebuild the next dry walls. Bees give us lots, stitches, enjoyment, pollination and joy. We also want to give something back to the bees.

If you want to know more about us and our work, you can visit www.neigschmeckt.npage.de

Thursday, November 16, 2017

NFC Tag for hive identification

A hive can be identified using NFC tags.

Use the following steps:
  • Attach NFC to the hive
  • Use your smartphone to write hive information to the tag (touch the tag)
  • Read the hive information by approaching smartphone to an NFC tag
  • NFC must be enabled in Settings




NFC tag write:



Read NFC tag:



NFC (Near Field Communication)
- Short rage wireless (1-4 cm)
- Small memory
- Low speed
- Low friction setup (no discovery, no pairing)
- Passive targets (no batteries)
- Touch to read or write
- Like QR codes, but faster
- Work in low-light conditions (night)

NFC tag sticker
- chip NTAG 213, 215, 216
- waterproof
- shielded
- adhesive backing


Biodynamic beekeeping

The aim of biodynamic beekeeping is “to minimize stress factors and allow bees to develop in accordance with their true nature.”

Biodynamic beekeeping is different from other beekeeping or bee-stewarding methods in that it aims to minimize environmental stress factors while allowing bees to develop in accordance with their true nature.


Some of the methods that enable this:
- Natural combs are used, rather than foundation.
- Swarming is recognized as the natural form of colony reproduction.
- Clipping of queen’s wings is prohibited.
- Regular and systematic queen replacement is prohibited.
- Pollen substitutes are prohibited.
- Beehives must be made of all natural materials, such as wood, straw, or clay.
- Artificial insemination is not used. Instead queens are allowed to fly free to mate.
- Grafting of larvae to produce queens is prohibited.
- No pesticides or antibiotics are allowed, although the use of natural organic acids such as formic and oxalic acid may be used for mite control.
- Honey may be transported in containers made of artificial materials but must be decanted into containers of glass or metal for retail sale.
- Take surplus honey from the hive is allowed only in the spring after the bees use what they need.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Meet the team behind Apiary Book

"Hello, my name is Juan Carlos and I am 45 years old, I am a Spanish beekeeper, from the Canary Islands, specifically from the Island of Gran Canaria in the Atlantic Ocean.

I have been working as an amateur for three years.

I never had in mind to dedicate myself to beekeeping, but it always caught my attention, initially because of the fear of bees, and later because of the products they provide (honey, jelly, wax, pollen).


I began to train through public training for the promotion of beekeeping, and started this adventure.
Coincidentally, I found later that one of my great-grandparents was a known beekeeper at the beginning of the 20th century, so some beekeeper's blood was already running through my veins.
Beekeeping is a family activity in which both my wife and my 7-year-old son participate.


In spite of the difficulties (varroa, climate, nosema, wasps, ants), it is an activity that we enjoy, and that perhaps, one day, allow me to live from it.

At the moment, I try to encourage beekeeping, and collaborate for the growth of bees in the world, to try to alleviate the decline in their world population suffering for years."

Monday, November 13, 2017

Are you a bee-"haver" or bee-"keeper"?

1. Bee Haver - does next to nothing with his bees, do not want beekeeping to consume his time or interest, so he spend little to no time keeping bees, he simply has bees.

2. Bee Keeper - Manages the bees with specific production goals in mind. This might include pollination, honey, bees, and other hive products. He has working plans for requeening, replacing dead colonies, maintaining bees and support systems that keep them going. The person who makes a living with bees had better bee in this category.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Tutorials, videos, samples

I invite you to go online to find additional information to support your beekeeping workflow.

Whether you're new to beekeeping or an experienced beekeeper, I have you covered with tutorials, videos, and samples.





Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Apiary Book 2.5

A new version 2.5 of Apiary Book is available in Google Play!

What's new:
• Contacts - your address book
• Updated Assistant - important insight from your apiary: number of weak bee colonies
• Settings - user can choose to click the Back button twice to exit app
• Various improvements and bug fixes


If you are using a previous version of Apiary Book, you can check for updates on the Google Play Store.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Get the newsletter

Be the first to find out about latest news and tips that will help you find success in your beekeeping activities.

Subscribe here: http://www.apiarybook.com/newsletter.html

Subscribers will receive periodical information and news about beekeeper stories, new features of app, help and support.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Right Conditions for Inspections

When is the best time of day to inspect your hives?

Inspect hives anytime it is warm enough and the sun is shining (until it gets dark), few clouds, the breeze is gentle, not windy conditions.

Recommendation: between the hours of 08:00 to 13:00 (the worker bees will be out foraging)



Do not inspect hives when:
- young bees are taking the orientation flight (from 13:00 to 16:00)
- when it is raining
- it is cloudy
- strong wind

Monday, October 16, 2017

Contacts - your agenda

You can add your beekeepers contacts and edit information like phone numbers, emails, apiary addresses.

1. Open the Apiary Book app
2. In Dashboard screen tap Contacts card
3. The contacts list is displayed
4. In the top right, tap ADD
5. Add name, organization, title
6. Type phone, email, website, address
7. Add birthday and notes
7. Add information about the beekeeper apiary
9. Tap Save
10. Tap right arrow to call, send email or display website
12. In the top right, tap ⁝ (option menu)
13. Choose Share to send the contact details to your friends


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

App exit confirmation

I am looking to provide beekeepers with the features they need.

Milos Vujosevic sent me the following email:

"Subject: Suggest an idea

When I work in app and I open something from dashboard, when I click back with system button app is going shutdown. I thing, some warning before shutdown will be good, like: "for exit click one more time ".

Milos"

This tutorial describes how to enable the Exit option:

  1. Open the Apiary Book app
  2. In the top left, tap Menu
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Choose option App settings - Modify features and behaviors
  5. Enable Click the BACK button twice to exit app


Tell me how to improve at bogdan.iordache@gmail.com

I'd love to hear your feedback. It means a lot to me. Sincerely, Bogdan!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Translation of Apiary Book

I always add new features. Help me offer them in your language.

Contributing to the translation of the interface, you help your beekeepers friends who probably use Apiary Book in your language.

Invite your friends to help with translations.


Photo: worker executing waggle dance watched by other workers. By performing this dance, successful foragers can share, with other members of the colony, information about the direction and distance to patches of flowers yielding nectar and pollen, to water sources and others.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Assistant: weak colonies

Explore important insights from your apiary: number of weak bee colonies.

Weak colonies:
- build up slowly;
- do not develop into strong colonies if they are left alone;
- have a smaller number of foraging bees;
- produce little honey even if a good nectar flow exists;
- are vulnerable to robbing by robber bees from stronger colonies.


In order to boost the weak colony you can do the following:
- transfer frames of sealed brood from a strong colony,
- requeen or
- unite with other colony.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Two years and a day: The short history of Apiary Book so far

Two years ago, on 24th of September 2015, 19:24, I published the first version of Apiary Book on Google Play. It has seen a lot of changes over the past 2 years, and a lot of them were quite significant.

Since then, has become one of the most appreciated applications for beekeepers.

Facts:
- the most complex and complete mobile application for Android smartphones and tables
- translated into 13 different languages with the help of passionate beekeepers from around the world
- monthly updates (new features, various improvements, bug fixes)
- continuous feature improvements (including feedback received from users)
- 4.5 rating on Google Play
- strong community

Also I published some web tools that can be used as teaching material:
- Forage Area
- Personal Beekeeper

What about future plans?
- PC version
- synchronization between different devices
- integration with IoT devices
- many others

My goal is to make Apiary Book a good tool for all beekeepers!


Love bees, respect nature, enjoy life!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Support for Slovak language

Apiary Book is now available also in Slovak language.

Translation is provided by Miroslav Dzíbela from Slovakia! Ďakujem veľmi pekne!


Thanks to some enthusiastic beekeepers from around the world, Apiary Book is translated now into 13 languages!

List of contributors is here: http://www.apiarybook.com/credits.html

Monday, August 21, 2017

Support for Polish language

Apiary Book is now available also in Polish language.

Translation is provided by Hubert and Konrad Płóciennik from Poland! Dziękuję!






Thursday, August 17, 2017

Beekeeping tools - Personal Beekeeper

Your personal beekeeper is available online!

http://www.apiarybook.com/personalbeekeeper.html

You can find more about honey bees and beekeeping by asking questions. Your assistant will give you the answer!


This web page can be used as a teaching tool!

You can interact with the assistant by voice or text!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Rating 4.5

App rating on Google Play increased from 4.3 in January 2017 to 4.5 in August 2017.


The ratings and reviews are indicators of the quality of Apiary Book app.
Thank you for your feedback!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sugar Syrup per Hive

This calculator can be used in order to determine how many liters of sugar syrup you get for a specific quantity of sugar.

http://www.apiarybook.com/sugarsyrup.html



“We consider it as self evident that if the bees store honey for their own use, then honey is what they want and need.  Sugar syrup is, at best, a poor substitute.  Therefore, we strive to leave enough honey in the hive for the bees’ winter feed”. Phil Chandler

Monday, August 7, 2017

Beekeeping tools - Sugar Syrup Calculator

Today I am launching the second web tool that can be used by beekeepers from around the world to determine how many liters of water and kilograms of sugar you must add to get a specific volume of syrup.

http://www.apiarybook.com/sugarsyrup.html


There are two types of feeding with sugar:
- Addition (emergency - in order to avoid starvation, in the autumn - after the removal of a honey crop)
- Incentives (stimulative feeding)

The best food for bees is the honey, not the sugar!
Please leave plenty of honey to your bees so you would not need to feed them with sugar! 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Thank you for being here!

Apiary Book is now a community of tens of thousands of beekeepers, and I am so glad that you're part of it.


Thanks for being part of this big family!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bee Colonies Strength

The strength of a bee colony is given by:
- the number of frames covered by bees
- the number of combs of capped brood and 
- the quantity of honey reserves (in kg).
 

"The population of a bee colony is not static and varies with the season of the year. 

A colony of bees will have a low population, approximately 10,000 to 15,000 early in the season (January and February), and will grow to 30,000 to 60,000 bees in the peak breeding season (spring and midsummer). 

In early spring, a colony with 5 -7 frames covered with bees and at least 4 frames of brood is a strong colony, where one with 3 or 4 frames covered with bee is weak. 

On the other hand, in the peak breeding season a strong colony will have 10 -15 frames covered with bees and minimally six combs with brood, and have many foragers flying in and out as well as honey and pollen stores, whilst a colony with 5 -7 frames covered with bees, with e.g. 3 frames of small brood would be weak."

Above info is extracted from the document "Equalization of Bee Colonies Strength" by Khalil Hamdan.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Check In

You can use Check In to tell your friends you're at apiary, ready to begin some beekeeping works.

1. Open Apiary Book application
2. From Dashboard, press on Check In tile
3. Choose the app to which you want to share (WhatsApp, Facebook, Gmail, Messaging)
4. Choose the person you want to send the text
5. The text will contain your name, apiary, location and a Google Maps address
Bogdan Iordache just checked in to Apiary 1, Starchiojd, RO - https://www.google.ro/maps/place/45.310455,26.199271
6. Sent it!


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Assistant - bee queens

The Assistant helps you to identify important information related to apiary and offers advises.

The Assistant analyse the hatch/birth year of the queens.

  • if the queen is two years old - plan to replace queen next year
  • if the queen is over two years old - replace queen, unify beehives


DISCLAIMER: These advises are solutions taken from beekeeping best practices and are not promises or guarantees for success.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Dashboard customization

I am always looking for ways to improve Apiary Book. The feedback received from users is very important to me!

One example is the implementation of the possibility to customize Dashboard items after I received the following email in March 2017.

"Subject: Suggest an idea

Hi. Great app. The best one I've seen and I've tried a few of them! Would it be possible to make the Check in, Activity and Events optional on the dashboard? These are not facilities that I will ever use and it would be nice to switch them off the Dashboard in the app's settings menu if you don't  need them. This will allow me to see the other information that is more important.

Phil"

This tutorial describes how to choose the types of cards to show in Dashboard:

  1. Open the Apiary Book app
  2. In the top left, tap Menu ≡
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Choose option Dashboard cards
  5. Choose the types of cards to show: Check In, Activity, Events, Help & feedback

Tell me how to improve at bogdan.iordache@gmail.com
I'd love to hear your feedback. It means a lot to me. Sincerely, Bogdan!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Fun journey

The sentence "the foraging area around an apiary extends for two miles (3 km)" can be a good reason for a fun journey (i.e. together with your friends or family/kids).

So, if you are curious about the geographical limit of the flight of your bees and you want to walk around half an hour, just take your smartphone with Apiary Book application installed and start a fun trip.

Steps to follow:
  1. make sure to add geographical coordinates (latitude/longitude) to your apiary




  2. press Map button
  3. the foraging area is shown on the Google Maps
  4. plan and start your journey
  5. check your geographical position from time to time
  6. press My location button (if necessary)
  7. when you reach the forage area limit just stop for a minute and think about your bees

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Current and forecast weather data

The weather plays a part in your decision to inspect or not inspect your hives. Temperature, humidity have an effect on the temper of bees. Also the weather conditions influence the honey crop.

It is a good practice to check daily the current weather and forecast data for your apiary.


In Apiary Book, you can choose to get weather data for apiary location by address (location) or by geographic coordinates (latitude/longitude).


In order to get unambiguous location result for your apiary, the address must contain just the city or village name and the acronym of the country (e.g. Starchiojd, RO).

Otherwise, the service can display weather data for another location or no results.



The weather data is provided by OpenWeatherMap.org

Friday, June 9, 2017

Apiary Book 2.2

What's new in Apiary Book 2.2

Image draw:
Draw on you image (apiary, hive, frame) and share it!



Voice commands:
Use your voice to launch activities.

Here are voice actions that can be recognized:
  • What's the weather?
  • Take new note
  • Create new hive
  • Read barcode
  • Perform new treatment
  • Define new activity
  • New veterinary check



Dashboard cards:
Choose the types of cards to show: 
  • Check in
  • Activity
  • Events
  • Help & feedback


Getting started:


If you are using a previous version of Apiary Book, you can check for updates on the Google Play Store.

Monday, May 8, 2017

More info, resources, tutorials, community

I am excited to hear what you think about Apiary Book. I am encourage you to join Apiary Book's Community on FacebookGoogle+ or YouTube, great resources to keep up to date and discuss ideas with other beekeepers.



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Floral calendar tutorial

This tutorial describes how to add a new blossoming period:

1. Open the Apiary Book app
2. In the top left, tap Menu ≡
3. Tap Floral calendar
4. In the top right, tap ADD
5. Add start and end of flowering: part of the month (early, mid, late), month
6. Type popular and scientific name
7. Choose Type: trees, herbs, crops
8. Choose Source: Nectar, Pollen, Honeydew
9. Add Description
10. Tap Save
11. Return to list of calendar
12. In the top right, tap ⁝ (option menu)
13. Choose Calendar
14. Display the graph data
15. Print or Share the graph


Subscribe to the YouTube channel for app tips, tricks and how-to's.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Beekeeping tools - Forage area

Today I am launching the first web tool that can be used by beekeepers from around the world to check the forage area of the bees!

This web page can also be used as a teaching material!

http://www.apiarybook.com/foragearea.html



 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Floral calendar

A floral calendar for beekeeping is a time-table that indicates to the beekeeper the approximate date and duration of the blossoming periods of the important honey and pollen plants in the apiary area.


The floral calendar is one of the most useful tools. The calendar informs beekeepers about what to expect in bee-forage availability, and when, so that they can manage their colonies in the most rational manner. Beekeeping in any specific area cannot develop without an understanding of the calendar, and for migratory beekeeping, special calendars for the different foraging zones along the migration route are required.

Reference: http://www.fao.org/docrep/x0083e/X0083E04.htm#Chapter 3 Bee forage and floral calendars



Monday, March 27, 2017

Forage area

For bees, their forage or food supply consists of nectar and pollen from blooming plants within flight range.

The foraging area around a beehive extends for two miles (3 km).



The forage sources for honey bees are an important consideration for beekeepers.

Reference: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forage_(honey_bee)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Development of a PC version?

Do you want to have your Apiary Book data also on PC?
What about data synchronization between different devices using cloud?

To make this possible, I launched a fundraising campaign on Pledgie!

Click here to lend your support to: Apiary Book and make a donation at pledgie.com !

The road-map outlines a lot of work. The donations will help me to spend quality time on this project.

Spread the word
Help me get enough donations to get this project the attention it deserves. Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, in your local community, beekeepers' association, office!

Thank you!

Yours, Bogdan

Monday, March 13, 2017

Apiary Book 2.0

Apiary Book 2.0 is available for download today. I am grateful for all your feedback so far. I am committed to continuing to invest in making Apiary Book useful & easy to use for beekeepers across the world.

Check out the list of the new features below:

Financial statement:
Add all income/expense records of your apiary!



Hive weight measurement graph:
The measurement of hive weight provides useful insight into the condition and activities of the honey bee colony and the interaction of the bees with their environment. Check now the graph to see the trend in data over intervals of time.



Graphs filter:
You can now filter your graph data using the following criteria: 
  • Current year
  • Last Year
  • Lifetime (All years)
The filter was added to the following modules: 
  1. Bee families report
  2. Hive weight
  3. Financial

Getting started:
If you are using a previous version of Apiary Book, you can check for updates on the Google Play Store.