1) Swarm Harvest: The only time a Swarm Coordinator needs to make a telephone call is when a swarm has been notified, but not adopted by one of their team. The swarm will be highlighted in red on the real time swarm map until it has been adopted.
Swarm Harvest: efficient swarm management
- Send instant swarm notifications to locally registered swarm collectors without the necessity for telephone calls.
- Send swarm photograph (to confirm species), location (GPS or postcode) and notifier/landowner contact details.
- Sign up for iWas (i Want a swarm) to request a swarm.
- Eliminate duplicate call outs and wasted time.
Additional Feature for Swarm Collectors who have indicated in their registration that they are insured to collect Swarms. These can be appropriately trained beekeepers or pest controllers.
- Receive swarm notifications from all Bee.Watch App users and website API alerts, within 10 miles of your registered postcode.
- Wasps not honeybees? No Problem! Registered pest controllers will also receive swarm alerts and can adopt alerts for what are clearly wasps.
2) Apiary Records: The key to good bee keeping is observation and the accurate recording of these observations during the fundamental bee keeping practises of noting colony losses, treatments and inspections. Add pictures to your records through the app.
Apiary records: Observation and recording
- Colony losses: Relating colony losses to local environmental and weather conditions helps identify a contributing factor. They occur all year round for a variety of reasons and bees suffer cold better than damp so always look for excessive condensation.
- Treatments: Varroa carries viruses and recording the type and date of treatments is good bee husbandry. Treat as necessary and not just when convenient and monitor varroa drop during inspections as well.
- Inspections: Hives should be inspected regularly even on warm days through the winter when they are flying. Avoid losses from starvation by observing where the bees are clustering and where their stores are.
- Pro Beekeeper Users can manage an unlimited number of apiaries (due for release in September 2019).
3) Pesticide Awareness : The Bee.Watch App provides any pesticide users with the ability to efficiently and anonymously communicate treatments to beekeepers and bystanders. The Bee.Watch App produces a simple notification of what, when and where is being sprayed, and is an accepted Farm Assurance communication method*. This delivers the DEFRA (2006) Pesticides Code of practice for using plant protection products and the NFU Good Neighbour Initiative for sprayer operators.
Pesticide Alerts: communication between beekeepers, bystanders and pesticide users
No longer is it just farmers but vineyards, grounds maintenance contractors, local government, pest control companies, equestrian centers, garden centres, vets and the general public are all users of pesticides.
- Pesticide users instantly and anonymously notify local registered beekeepers and bystanders of planned pesticide treatments. This allows beekeepers to protect their hives and bystanders to avoid treated areas.
- Pesticide notifications anonymously detail the the pesticide type and date, time, location of treatment.
- This links to the pesticide’s active ingredient ecotoxicity to aquatic invertebrates (Daphne), birds, honeybees, fish and human health. This information is seen as “traffic lights “on the app.
Red tractor “Red Tractor is aware of Bee.Watch and the communication service offered for users of pesticides. Red Tractor require their Crops and Fresh Produce assured members to give local beekeepers a minimum of 48 hours’ notice of their intention to apply a Plant Protection Product that is hazardous to bees. Red Tractor do not stipulate how farmers must do this and there are different ways in which they can. Red Tractor can confirm that using Bee.Watch would be one such acceptable way a farmer could demonstrate they meet the Red Tractor requirement.” Red Tractor 03.12.2018
4) Environmental Monitoring : The Bee.Watch App allows any sightings of invasive species, pests, animals or plants of interest to be recorded and forwarded to the appropriate organisation.
Tracking and Pest Alerts: Record sightings of species and events of interest
- The Bee.Watch App records the date, time, location and picture of any target species, for example from an Asian Hornet or Japanese knotweed to a Barn owl or long-haired Bumble Bee.
- Using a smartphone, the Bee.Watch App uses GPS locations and can record vectors when relevant to track the direction of travel. This will be crucial in reporting sightings of species such as the Asian Hornet to help coordinate the finding of nests.
- All sightings recorded within the Bee.Watch App on a smartphone will be mapped within the User’s web page.
- All observation details can be instantly escalated from the Bee.Watch App to the regulatory organisation by e-mail or text.
Wasps v Bees: The Bee.Watch App creates the opportunity for registered pest control companies and beekeepers to work together. Promoting communications, preventing wasted and duplicate swarm callouts and enabling efficient swarm collection.
5) Hive Identification Discs (HIDs)
The HID uses a QR code (2-dimensional bar code) to individually identify any hive, anywhere. The Bee.Watch app has a reader embedded in it.
The Owner’s app will only identify their own hives and if HIDs from another apiary are read the app will report an error. When the app reads the QR code it either creates a new hive record in the apiary or allows colony details to be updated for an existing hive.
The QR codes are printed on weather resistant labels which have marine grade glue. They can be stuck directly onto hives which have not been treated or onto a disc which is screwed to the hive. They are supplied in units of 6, the number on one sheet. The QR code should be attached to the front or the back of the brood box and there is no necessity to remove it.