Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Apiary Book!

Thank you for a great 2019, for helping us build this community and for taking such good care of your bees!


Monday, December 23, 2019

Happy holidays!

Happy holidays, beekeepers!
Hoping you are having a wonderful couple of days and wishing you all the best!


Friday, December 20, 2019

Apiary Book PRO Holiday Edition

Apiary Book PRO Holiday Edition is up and running and going fast! So hurry up and take advantage of our special festive offer: buy a one-year subscription, get one FREE! Enjoy great prices starting at 8 euros/month and work together with a beekeeping partner - http://www.apiarybook.com/proearlyadopter.html


Friday, December 13, 2019

Apiary Book Pro features

Why should you go PRO? Let us count the ways we can help you take care of your bees. Sign up here for an early subscription and enjoy a great year for your apiary!

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


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Apiary Book is launching PRO features!

Web, Android, iOS, cloud sync, storage, reports, best practices from beekeepers all over the world: take your Apiary Book app pro and enjoy a world of great benefits!

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


*Standalone versions (including existing Android app) will be free to use. PRO features require the payment of a subscription.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Early Adopter Pro Subscription

On February 15th we are going PRO and launching a whole set of new features including the iOS version and a desktop version for Apiary Book.

But more about all that is new and amazing for Apiary Book is available at the link below:
http://www.apiarybook.com/proearlyadopter.html


Monday, December 2, 2019

Report problems/incidents affecting bee colonies health

At Apiary Book we see beekeepers as the first line of defense in the mission to protect our planet’s bees.

Beekeepers are passionate persons who love honeybees, nature and the community.

While working in an apiary can be an incredibly fulfilling calling, beekeeping also involves responsibility. A beekeeper must be well informed and able to detect even the slightest sign that their bees are encountering issues.

Using Report, a beekeeper can inform about problems/incidents affecting bee colonies health: crop treatment, pesticide poisoning, colony loss, disease, pest, extreme weather and others.


Report is part of Apiary Inform, a platform for reporting problems/incidents affecting bee families health, a valuable tool connecting beekeepers with farmers and with local authorities.

Find more info here: http://www.apiarybook.com/inform.html

Monday, November 25, 2019

Queen details

Beekeepers from around the world is sending us feedback, helping us to focus on features that matter.

"Kolejna rzecz to w wykazie uli na danej pasiece fajnie gdyby znajdowal sie maly kolor oznaczajacy krolowa w danym ulu do szybkiej wymiany bez wchodzenia w dany ul i historie matki

Thomas, Honning.buzz"

"The next thing is in the list of hives on a given apiary, it would be nice if there was a small color indicating queens in a given beehive for quick exchange without entering the given beehive and mother's story".


Check the hives with active queens following the below steps:

1. Open the Apiary Book app
2. In the top left, tap Menu ≡
3. Tap Hives
4. The hives having active queens are marked with a queen icon in the right bottom corner
5. Select a hive and check the details of the queen (year, color, history)

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Voice Assistant - Reminders

Use Voice Assistant to find out the reminders while driving to the apiary so you can give immediate attention to the hive or hives which require urgent attention first.

Start Voice Assistant and answer "Reminders" to the question "How can I help you?".
The Todo items will be shown on screen and played as audio (text-to-speech).


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

FoodTech 500

We are glad that Apiary Book is among the finalists of the Foodtech 500.

https://foodtech500.forwardfooding.com/

The FoodTech 500 shortlist showcases companies (early-stage startup to scaleup) that are building and scaling AgriFoodTech businesses, addressing the rapid need for change across the food ecosystem.


"All of the companies that have made the FoodTech 500's shortlist have in our opinion become entrepreneurial success stories worth keeping an eye on, which is why we have made it our mission to share them." - Alessio D'Antino, Forward Fooding

The FoodTech 500 list with the full ranking will be released on the 4th of February, 2020.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Apiary Book 4.9.2

Apiary Book 4.9.2 adds several new improvements required by beekeepers from all around the world.

1. Media Gallery - add existing video from internal storage



2. Hives list - active queens are marked with a queen icon in the right bottom corner


3. Voice Assistant - Todo items that are not completed are played as audio (text-to-speech)



4. Hive feedings - total sum of the feedings for each food type

We appreciate any feedback on things you like, and issues or features you would like to see.
Send your suggestions to bogdan@apiarybook.com


Thursday, November 14, 2019

Feedings - sum for each hive

We are working hard to improve the consultation with our global community – and we’d love your feedback. Feel free to give your suggestions to bogdan@apiarybook.com.

"Vážený pane,
bylo by možné, aby aplikace uváděla součet provedených krmení u každého úlu.
Předem děkuji za reakci a jsem s pozdravem.

Sir,
it would be possible for the application to indicate the sum of feeds made for each hive.
Thank you in advance for your reaction and I am sincerely.

J.Kotrch", Czech Republic


In order to check the sum of feedings for an individual hive follow the steps:
1. Open the Apiary Book app
2. In the top left, tap Menu ≡
3. Tap Hive
4. Select a hive from the list
5. Choose Feedings from details screen
6. The list of feedings is shown
7. In the top right, tap ⁝ (option menu)
8. Select Graph
9. Check the feedings for current/previous year or lifetime.
10. Click on graph bar in order to display the total sum of the feedings for each food type

Monday, November 11, 2019

Media Gallery - video

Feature proposal contributions are highly valued, till now hundreds of suggestions from the community have been implemented.

"I am enjoying your app but would like to add a pre-made video to the media section. It would also be good to be able to add multiple images together instead of 1 at a time.

Andy Stanhope"


In order to add an existing video to Media Gallery follow the steps:
1. Open the Apiary Book app
2. In the top left, tap Menu ≡
3. Tap Media Gallery
4. In the top right, tap ⁝ (option menu)
5. Choose Movie to add an existing video from your internal storage
6. Select the video
7. Add it to the Media Gallery

Send your suggestion or improvements to bogdan@apiarybook.com

Friday, November 8, 2019

Startarium competition

This week Apiary Book was one of the 10 finalists of the Startarium competition.

I talked about the problems affecting bees' health and about the beekeeping community.

https://start-up.ro/startarium-pitchday-2019-10-finalisti-in-cursa-pentru-50-000-eur/


Friday, September 27, 2019

Apiary Book's 4th birthday

IT'S APIARY BOOK'S 4TH BIRTHDAY

On 24th of September 2015 the first version of Apiary Book was released on Google Play. It's been a wonderful journey so far.

When I started this project, I wanted to build something that can help beekeepers in their daily activities. And I wanted to give something back to the bees. After all, the bees are very generous with us.


Right now Apiary Book is the most downloaded app for beekeepers from around the world because of you, the community!

As in a beehive, the new queen was helped by a lot of bees to build a strong family.

I want to thank all the beekeepers who sent comments, suggestions, provided support, helped with the translation. Without the efforts of the community Apiary Book would be much poorer.

Yours sincerely,

Bogdan

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Beekeeping in South Africa

Johan Fourie is a agricultural scientist from South Africa and a hobbyist beekeeper since high school years.

He agreed to share information about beekeeping in his country.

"Pollination with honeybees is not very big in South Africa. It is mainly done in the Western Cape province which is one of our main fruit producing provinces. Apples, pears etc. are very dependent on bee pollination, but hive stocking rate is usually so high that there is not much honey production from it. In the Free State province beekeepers move their hives to sunflower fields for pollination and they get good honey yields from that. In the warmer areas like KwaZulu-Natal province along the coast and the Mapumalanga Lowveld areas where subtropical fruit like mango, litchi and now also macadamia nuts are produced, there is always a demand for pollination services. We charge R500 (roughly 35US$)per hive for the macadamia pollination over the flowering period which is from middle August to end October. When the macadamias are irrigated, they produce lots of flowers and the bees can store roughly 10 – 15kg surplus honey per colony in the short period which they are there. The honey is dark, but has a very nice floral flavor.



Our main source of nectar is however Eucalyptus timber plantations which flowers from April to June/July. A strong colony can produce 30 – 50kg Eucalyptus honey per season, but we work on an average of 15 – 20 Kg per hive per season.

The country has the potential to produce enough honey to be able to export honey, but unfortunately we struggle with a very high crime rate and lawlessness in the country. There are a lot of reports of honey theft from beehives and sometimes even vandalizing and destroying whole hives. Apiary sites close to Eucalyptus plantations or other nectar sources which are secure are in bigger demand than the nectar sources themselves. Beekeepers have huge expenses and try all kinds of patents to try and secure their hives against theft, but there’s not really anything that can keep them out completely. We often keep hives on high roofs of sheds for security reasons – this is far from ideal as it puts the bees under heat stress and obviously it is very difficult moving hives and honey supers up and down ladders, but it is a bit more secure than any other option on ground level.

We have two sub-species or races of honeybees which are indigenous to the country: Apis mellifera Scutellata (or “African bee”) and Apis mellifera Capensis (or “Cape bee”).  The Cape bee is generally confined to the western and southern Cape regions. The African bee covers the region to the north and inland of this. The African bee is an aggressive bee with a hardy strain and capable of producing large crops of honey. The Cape bee tends to be a more docile bee (although can also become aggressive when provoked. It has a unique characteristic in that the worker bees (females) have the ability to produce both male and female offspring and thus able to re-queen a colony which has become queenless.  The downside of this characteristic is that it has the ability to parasitise scutellata colonies.  Capensis laying workers invade and subsequently begin to lay their own eggs, challenging the scutellata queen’s ability to control the colony.  The original colony becomes overtaken by Cape bees and will collapse.


We don’t get any help from the government although by law we have to register as a beekeeper with the Department of Agriculture even if you are only a hobbyist beekeeper. The law is not really enforced and many beekeepers don’t comply with it.

We have a national beekeeping organisation and provincial associations which are affiliated to it. It is called the South African Bee Industry Organisation (SABIO) - www.sabio.org.za SABIO organises an annual beekeeping conference – usually in July and the associations have their own info days, training sessions etc."

If you want to share information about beekeeping in your country, please send an email to bogdan@apiarybook.com

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Hive inspections

You can check the number of inspections performed each month for current/previous year or lifetime.



General advice
Don’t inspect the hive too often. Every time you do, you disrupt the hive.

Friday, September 6, 2019

About pollen

"Honey bees preferentially consume freshly-stored pollen.

The freshly-formed composite of pollen, nectar, and oral secretions is briefly more attractive than older stored pollen.

Older stored pollen sources are only likely to be fully consumed once freshly-stored pollen sources are largely exhausted."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5400263


Monday, September 2, 2019

Monday, August 26, 2019

Hands-free

Get things done, hands-free!

Paulo Ribeiro wrote to us:
"Love your app, but I usually take notes on paper when working on bees because it´s not practical for me to work on the smartphone with gloves on."

Using Apiary Book's Voice Assistant you can talk to the app while you are performing inspections to your hives.



Suggested workflow

1. identify hive using NFC tag
- enable the NFC communication on your smartphone
- touch the NFC tag with your smartphone and the hive details will be displayed
- is it working even if the Apiary Book app is not opened


2. choose Voice action option
- after reading the tag, the Voice Assistant is automatically started


3. answer to the Voice Assistant questions
- create new note
- add new activity (new ToDo item)

4. Your answers are saved automatically in Apiary Book

Sunday, August 25, 2019

BEE grateful

"[...] here are 6 reasons to BEE grateful for our pollinators:
1. They improve our diets by providing micronutrient-rich foods
2. They give us honey
3. They have a great work ethic
4. They make our foods taste better
5. They increase food production and food security
6. They maintain biodiversity"



Monday, August 19, 2019

Importance of bees

One of our objective is to help beekeepers to reduce bee colony losses, we strongly believe this can be achieved by applying best beekeeping practices, analyzing historical data and facilitating communication between all stakeholders involved.

Read the following article, it is about decline of bee population numbers, pesticides impact on bee health, climate change.

https://www.eitfood.eu/blog/post/searching-for-a-plan-bee-the-importance-of-bees-to-a-safe-food-supply


Thursday, August 15, 2019

Calendar

A calendar is helpful in applying the right management practice at the right time.

Plan ahead with your beekeeping, time your colony inspections and manipulations to prevent problems from developing.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Hive inspection - Weather

We are consistently search for ways to make our best even better.

Claude sent us the following request:

"Hi Bogdan,
First, thanks for this very useful apps. Continue your good work.
Maybe you already received similar requests, but here are the one that use in my manual reports;

1 - can weather data be included in the inspection activity data?
[...]

Once again thank you for this great apps.

Regards
Claude
Ile-Perrot, Quebec, Canada"


Weather conditions is influencing the visits of  honey bees. On the days characterized by maximum temperature and highest humidity the daily activity of honey bees is decreased.

Adding weather data when recording a inspection can help you analyze and extract useful information that will allow you to make better decisions.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Voice Assistant

Apiary Book's voice assistant allow you to record your beekeeping activities using just the voice.

Please try in your language:
- Take new note
OR
- Define new activity
and use your voice to respond to the assistant questions (title and description for note, subject and description for todo item).


Example (use your language):

Assistant - What can I do for you?
You - Take new note
Assistant - Title?
You - General inspection
Assistant - Description?
You - Inspected all the hives and there are no problems discovered

Friday, August 9, 2019

Voice Assistant

We’re happy to announce a major improvement to the Apiary Book app based on a lot of the feedback we’ve received from our community over the past year.

Apiary Book’s new Voice Assistant app lets you use the app hands-free. It is designed to help beekeepers to record the activities performed in the apiary using just the voice.


Beyond this major feature, here are some of the improvements we’re introducing
- voice assistant - take notes or create todo items using just your voice
- hives graph sort options - name, strength, date
- QR code and NFC tag reading - added more actions
- inspection - add weather info

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Hive identification

If a beekeeper whats to add an activity for a hive, the easiest way is to follow the next steps:
- scan bar code or read NFC code in order to identify the hive
add activities
save record (note, inspection, todo, image)
- move to the next hive


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Apiary/Hive recording options

There are two options for recording information using Apiary Book:

1. general recording, for all hives in the apiary
- example: added 1 liter of sugar syrup for all hives
- suitable for beekeepers that own a lot of hives
- suitable for users that add just a general note about the feeding

2. recording for a particular hive
- example: added 1/2 kg of protein patty to Hive 1:01
- suitable to beekeepers that own few hives
- suitable to beekeepers that want to note everything for each hive



A beekeeper can choose both options, the list of activities indicate if the record is at the apiary or hive level (the name of the hive is shown).



Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Hive strength

We are constantly getting feedback from beekeepers from around the world. This is helping us to build a better product for all users.

Thank you Nikodém for informing us about this improvement!

"Hi dear Bogdan.
Thanks a lot for your work!

I have one remark to Apiary Book:
We can set "Strength" into "Hive" page, tab "State".
We can set "Strength" into new added "Inspection" too, but this entry is not taken into account into "Hive history" and "Hive graph"
I think this is the same data and should be synchronized.
What do you mean about?
Thanks.

With best regards!

Nikodém Zámečník"


Starting Apiary Book 4.7, if you set "Strength" into a new added "Inspection", the entry is taken into account into "Hive history" and "Hive graph".

Send your idea or suggestion to bogdan@apiarybook.com

Monday, July 29, 2019

Queen transfer

In case you want to transfer the queen from a hive to another, use the <Transfer to> feature:

1. Select the hive from Hives list
2. Press Details in the Queen section
3. Choose option Transfer to
4. Add date of the transfer
5. Select destination hive (i.e. Hive 1-15)
6. Press OK
7. Add description, note, observations
8. Press ADD button
8. The queen is transferred to the new hive


The feature was suggested by Mark Lunny:

"A suggestion for the app.

When performing a swarm prevention manipulation and then later combining hives the queen's move between the hives. However in the app you cannot move the queen data.

I find I am having to enter and delete the data every time. Is it possible to have a way to do this in the app?

Otherwise love the app
Thanks"

Finding out what beekeepers think is the only way that we can give them the best customer experience.

Please send your feedback to bogdan@apiarybook.com

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Replacement of Queens

Why is it recommended to change queens periodically?

- young queens are more prolific in their first year, even some until the second year of life
- maintain healthier colony and less prone to diseases, health of the hive is dependent on the queen
- avoid the action of swarming, which is a natural instinct of reproduction of bees



A strong bee colony, thanks to the vigor of a young queen, will always be more active and productive, will not have problems of moisture or cooling of the nest; more defensive to any invasive pests.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Bees - the most important living beings

"The bees have been declared the most important living beings on this planet, the Earthwatch Institute concluded in the last meeting of the Royal Geographical Society of London. However, according to wildlife experts and scientists, the bees have joined the endangered species long list."



Sunday, July 21, 2019

Our community

Many thanks to Jerzy Sowa for his kind words!

"Używam aplikacji już 2 rok. Mam wszystkie informacje o mojej pasiece w jednym miejscu. Telefon mam zawsze przy sobie. Polecam wszystkim.
Jerzy Sowa
Pasieka Prełuki, Polska"

http://preluki.pl/

"I've been using the application for 2 years. I have all the information about my apiary in one place. I always have a telephone with me. I recommend it to everyone."



Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Hive - Media Gallery

Use photos and videos to document your hive over time, see how the colony develops and what behaviors the bees engage in at each time of the year.

Hive - Media Gallery

Update your app to the latest version 4.6 and start adding media files for a particular hive.


Monday, July 15, 2019

Solutions for keeping track of hives

Here are some solutions for keeping track of your hives:

1. add rocks on top of the hive
2. write with a black marker on the outer cover
3. attach different beekeeping magnets
4. note on paper using pen
5. use apiary management apps (on your smartphone)

Magnets


Advantages of using management software on your smartphone:
- identify hives using bar-codes / NFC tags
- review historical data and decide next actions
- add notes easily after each inspection
- take photos of your hives
- visualize graphs, reports for in-depth analysis
- get reminders for upcoming tasks, activities

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Queen details

Apiary Book 4.5 update is available now!

Now you can visualize easily the queen details and perform specific actions:
- mark as flagged (i.e. old queen, must be replaced),
- add star (i.e. exceptional),
- create reminder (check the queen at the next inspection)
- modify state (capped cell, installed, accepted, emerged, mated)



Info

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Honey extraction

Honey extraction is the process of removing honey from honeycomb.

Here are some steps:
- remove the wax cap on capped honey manually (using a fork)
- place the frames in the honey extractor
- turn on the centrifuge motor, run extracting process for several minutes
- remove extracted frames



Important: do not store extracted frames!

After finishing the honey extraction process, add the frames back to the hives as soon as possible, so bees will clear any honey that is left and reconstruct the comb.




Friday, July 5, 2019

Flagged hives

If you have a hive that need your attention or you want to easily follow up, you can flag it in Apiary Book app. This helps you remember to inspect it later.

Flagged hives are easy to spot, thanks to the red icon.



Examples of flagged hives:
- queen sighted but no larvae are present, you need the check again at the next inspection
- varroa mites detected, schedule a treatment
- bee family strength is low, add a frame with brood from another strong hive 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Apiary Book 4.4

Apiary Book 4.4 for Android is available, get it on Google Play!

Now you can add to-do list for each individual hive.



You will be notified about the activities scheduled the day before or on that day at 8:30 a.m. So you can easily remember what work you have to do, and never miss an inspection or deadline.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Efficient Hive Inspections

Our recommendations for hive inspection:

- review the notes from the last inspections
- decide if you have to check the hive and look at what is new
- if  inspection is required, examine the bee colony and record all information (population, queen, brood, honey)
- schedule the next activities

Hive ToDo list

Acting like this, you will not have to open every hive every time when you go in the bee yard.

Different hives have issues that need to be dealt with at different times.

Interfering with bee colonies too often may cause problems.  Anytime we open a beehive, we are causing stress to the colony.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Celebrate beekeepers

Apiary Book supports beekeepers like you across the world.

Help us celebrate your journey by taking a selfie of you in your apiary, tagging your name and #ApiaryBook on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.



Answer to the following question: what's beekeeping for you?

We would really appreciate to meet you!

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Remote hive monitoring

Curious about remote hive monitoring systems that provides information on bee colonies status to the smartphone or PC?

A few days ago we installed not one, but two different weight scales together with sensors.



We will present our conclusions in the next weeks.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Hive tracking - methods

You can use the method of taking notes using the black marker to write on hive cover...

The translation:
CHECK!! = inspect the hive next time
Q↑ = queen seen
F↓ = not enough food (honey)


Or you can use your smartphone and Apiary Book app, add notes, inspections and reminders. So you will never forget what is the actual status of your hives and make better decisions.