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I was wondering what everyone finds most useful in beekeeping apps or if you use apps at all? I know we used to like just a good ol’ vivid on the hive lid.
 

App topics of Interest:

Record Keeping

Productivity/Value of Specific Sites

Monitoring Hive Strength

Planning/Tracking moves
Batch identification

Disease Management

Health and Safety

Staff Activity

Etc.

 

I’m interested to know the thoughts of beekeepers with multiple properties, apiaries and staff members. So that a commercially focused app we put together can be as practical and useful as possible.


Side note - if you want to be involved, we are taking on people to trial it. It’s called HiveManager, info on that here: https://www.hivemanager.app/ Please keep in mind this is by no means a finished website, just head to the contact tab to talk to us or the or trial sign up button to be involved.

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Hmmmm .... Record keeping ..... when I was a corporate beekeeper we had a very expensive recording system that was cell phone based and bee keepers put in yard info, photos etc. The only problem was that The Big Cheese did'nt like to see the number of dead hives in a yard and asked for them not to be recorded, so we obliged , but it meant that the system lost a lot of it's value in that the information displayed was incorrect.

So rule No 1 is that what happens in the Bee yard gets recorded.

Now, as hobbyist's we run a white board  system with yard names and a tick for when visited and a simple code for tasks completed , so that at a glance one can see history and  if we have missed a yard. And as we all know, in the spring the weeks run by with only 70 or so shopping days left til Christmas,  things get forgotten.

I have been thinking of interactive apps lately, not just for the bees , but for the farm as well. Somthing that as I cruise around I can note down on the App jobs that need to happen, a value of importance, and they come up on staff members phones so that when at a loose end they can refer to the list and be gainfully employed for a couple of hours or so.

At the end of the day, as a bee operation we need to focus on the fact that to stay in business our bees need to make honey , mostly, and to do that they need young queens and plenty of feed.   The App needs to record a feeding regime and a health status re varroa. The requeening takes care of itself as the deads are made up in the spring and then   we blanket protected  cell evrything just before the honey flow, and hey presto the rest falls into place, God willing.

But of course at the end of the day, you need conscietious staff to make it all happen. And I would suggest that without them, the best App in the world is not gonna help you.

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Did you get your bucket of strips tonite Stoney ?

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2 hours ago, jamesc said:

Did you get your bucket of strips tonite Stoney ?

I’m at home tonight, me missus is overseas with work til Sunday so Im on solo dad duties... driving matchbox cars around on the carpet between sips of McKenna. 

Im doin the drivin, wee mans doin the sippin. 

Theyll be waiting for me in the morning.. thanks very much for that James. Most appreciated. 

P.S    I hope your dogs not feeling tired tonight.... every time she sits down I lose 4 colonies out of the system?

 

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@jamesc Totally agree with you that all information added into an app would have to be correct to get the most use out of it. Also agree with your hard truth that for the good of the business and industry the bees and hives need to be making honey and money. We do currently have a system in the app for recording hive strength, feeds and treatments. It corresponds with an interactive map, so you can see what has been done and hasn't on a map. I.e. site's/apiaries that had been treated would appear yellow, and sites that hadn't would appear blue. The map also seems to help with cutting down on driving time, seeing if staff are treating one area or if they are treating one site and then moving on to another area when they could have done several more sites in the previous. The system works through hashtags, so you can keep track of what ever you want to. For example, during the honey flow you could put in #boxeson and the map would change to show all sites that had boxes put on in yellow, and sites that need visiting in blue. You can then adjust what you are seeing to in the past week or month etc. Does that seem to address what you were saying? 

In terms of task management, that is definitely something we are working on, but it's not currently there. We use a separate app for that at the moment that works brilliantly for us. It's called Trello. We didn't make it, not sure who did, but it's awesome. You can list jobs on there (perhaps under staff members names or locations) and colour code them in order of importance. We use green to mean job done so the boss can check we are achieving things haha.  You can also set it up so that staff members get phone notifications when jobs are added to their list or any lists they are 'watching'. 

Lastly, in terms of farming, we have an app that works very similar to Hivemanager called Stockmanager, you could almost call it the parent app of HiveManager. It's also still in testing stages and the website isn't finished, but there should be more info here if you are still thinking about farming apps: https://stockmanager.co.nz/sign-in. I'm not very familiar with what else is out there in terms of farming. 

Thanks very much for your comment btw, it's really helpful to hear how other people are thinking about apps and their opinions.

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@Stoney On a different topic, I'm looking forward to more of your diary entries this summer! You write such awesome stories about work successes and catastrophes. :)?

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1 hour ago, Fitzie said:

@jamesc Totally agree with you that all information added into an app would have to be correct to get the most use out of it. Also agree with your hard truth that for the good of the business and industry the bees and hives need to be making honey and money. We do currently have a system in the app for recording hive strength, feeds and treatments. It corresponds with an interactive map, so you can see what has been done and hasn't on a map. I.e. site's/apiaries that had been treated would appear yellow, and sites that hadn't would appear blue. The map also seems to help with cutting down on driving time, seeing if staff are treating one area or if they are treating one site and then moving on to another area when they could have done several more sites in the previous. The system works through hashtags, so you can keep track of what ever you want to. For example, during the honey flow you could put in #boxeson and the map would change to show all sites that had boxes put on in yellow, and sites that need visiting in blue. You can then adjust what you are seeing to in the past week or month etc. Does that seem to address what you were saying? 

In terms of task management, that is definitely something we are working on, but it's not currently there. We use a separate app for that at the moment that works brilliantly for us. It's called Trello. We didn't make it, not sure who did, but it's awesome. You can list jobs on there (perhaps under staff members names or locations) and colour code them in order of importance. We use green to mean job done so the boss can check we are achieving things haha.  You can also set it up so that staff members get phone notifications when jobs are added to their list or any lists they are 'watching'. 

Lastly, in terms of farming, we have an app that works very similar to Hivemanager called Stockmanager, you could almost call it the parent app of HiveManager. It's also still in testing stages and the website isn't finished, but there should be more info here if you are still thinking about farming apps: https://stockmanager.co.nz/sign-in. I'm not very familiar with what else is out there in terms of farming. 

Thanks very much for your comment btw, it's really helpful to hear how other people are thinking about apps and their opinions.

So Fitzie, are you working for Hivemanager?I like the sound of stock manager and will investigate.

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17 minutes ago, jamesc said:

So Fitzie, are you working for Hivemanager?I like the sound of stock manager and will investigate.

 

Haha I'm a bit of a jack of all trades, but yes I am working with Hivemanager - it was developed by the commercial bee company I work for. I'm collecting feedback so that it can be as useful as possible. I don't work for Trello though, but I defs think that would be awesome for your task management. I'm a big fan of Trello. Can you tell? ? 

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5 hours ago, Fitzie said:

appshttps://stockmanager.co.nz/sign-in. I'm not very familiar with what else is out there in terms of farming

This I am interested in. How do I find out more ? Very little info on that link 

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28 minutes ago, M4tt said:

This I am interested in. How do I find out more ? Very little info on that link 

ditto .... I tried to have a look but I was'nt allowed in .....

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1 hour ago, M4tt said:

This I am interested in. How do I find out more ? Very little info on that link 

and @jamesc, sorry about that guys. The stockmanager official website is expected to be up and running in a weeks time. But you could go through the hivemanager support email address (as the are both run by the same people). The hivemanager contact details are here https://www.hivemanager.app/contact-us use the email, as the phone comes through to me and I am not as familiar with stockmanager. 

 

Edited by Fitzie
Forgot something
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7 hours ago, Fitzie said:

@Stoney On a different topic, I'm looking forward to more of your diary entries this summer! You write such awesome stories about work successes and catastrophes. :)?

Glad you enjoy. 

I’ll tell you straight... I could write a whole book of stories with the week I’ve just had. 

Sadly I’m not feeling up to one my finger typing sessions at the mo. 

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2 hours ago, Stoney said:

Glad you enjoy. 

I’ll tell you straight... I could write a whole book of stories with the week I’ve just had. 

Sadly I’m not feeling up to one my finger typing sessions at the mo. 

 Sounds rough as ?
But, I don't doubt you could turn it into one heck of a story!

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Aah it’s not that bad really.. the biggest issue is my typing speed. 

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On 21/09/2018 at 3:45 PM, M4tt said:

This I am interested in. How do I find out more ? Very little info on that link 

@Fitzie, try as I may to find info out about stockmanager , your man at the end of the emails is shy with details , or is it confidential until  it’s released. I’m very keen to find out more please . 

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22 minutes ago, M4tt said:

@Fitzie, try as I may to find info out about stockmanager , your man at the end of the emails is shy with details , or is it confidential until  it’s released. I’m very keen to find out more please . 


I'll chase this up when I see him tomorrow. He's a hard man to pin down. Running a station, the honey business and two apps. Our beekeeping team leaders are awesome though (and well compensated for it), so that take a bit off his back. I'll get as much info for you as I can and follow up on here ? Will be in the afternoon though if that's alright - I'll be in town in the morning checking out our brand spanking new honey labels ? ?

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17 minutes ago, Fitzie said:


I'll chase this up when I see him tomorrow. He's a hard man to pin down. Running a station, the honey business and two apps. Our beekeeping team leaders are awesome though (and well compensated for it), so that take a bit off his back. I'll get as much info for you as I can and follow up on here ? Will be in the afternoon though if that's alright - I'll be in town in the morning checking out our brand spanking new honey labels ? ?

Yes much appreciated Thankyou ?

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Hey @M4tt, just spoke to the boss. He says he has been in touch with you since these messages and that he is going to call you this week. So just checking in that everything is all good now? 

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1 hour ago, Fitzie said:

Hey @M4tt, just spoke to the boss. He says he has been in touch with you since these messages and that he is going to call you this week. So just checking in that everything is all good now? 

Yep he’s giving me a call tonight thanks ?

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Hi Fitzie, 

 

Why are you trying to reinvent the wheel?

There are some great app in existence already. You could support them and help make them even better.  

 

Hobby/Enthusiasts -  1-100 hives

Manage apiary,  hives and task

https://hivekeepers.com/

https://hivetracks.com/

 

Commercial  100 - 20,000+ hives

Manage apiary,  hives and staff and task with cost tracking

https://www.myapiary.com/

 

 

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aaaah @DJBainbridge, I can appreciate your interest (seeing as you founded one of those apps). I agree there are already a few apps on the market, and I was told our team checked them all out early on.

You’re not speaking to a developer here (I myself am not reinventing the commercial app). But, honestly?, what I heard was our company had some very busy beekeepers, humming sites and all that, had a few software developers on hand, and they saw a need - or several needs really. Needs that had not yet been addressed by what was already out there ? So we took a bit of a DIY approach and that's why www.hivemanager.app/ was set up.


As to why I am here talking about it on this forum. Well I come here often, I enjoy it, and my boss told me that during these last stages of development he wanted more beekeepers shaping the app and what they need/want from it. Beekeepers with their feet at the sites every day. To which I said ‘hey I know where there’s a lot of technical, savvy, beekeepers who are good at feedback’...

And that’s a bit of the tale. ??

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I think you should get you boss man to take another look and talk to us. 

Could save a lot of time and money. 

 

MyApiary is continually improving and has come along way in 12 months, with a large pool of user providing valuable input and providing feedback.

 

Our philosophy is we are here as a service provider, developing an industry lead suit of tools. 

The more companies that are onboard the more we can do for the industry.  If there is something missing that is a core to your business operation we can work with you to develop this capacity on a known platform where you get a lot of other benefits.   

 

 

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I believe there's plenty of room for HiveManager and users can chose what suits them best. Having more than one option will be good for the industry ? 

Just last week I got some great feedback about what different beekeeping roles still need from apps - dw we are working on it :D 

I think the boss has put in the time and effort and achieved an awesome thing - that's proving very useful to us and our active trial-ers.

As for philosophy and improvement, that all sounds great. Well done. ?

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I think pistols at dawn would be an entertaining way to settle this.

Edited by Josh
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I'm more of a bow and arrow kinda gal ??

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