Learning precision beekeeping

On July 11 at the Chamber of Agriculture of Pau (France), about twenty beekeepers met with the intention of learning details about precision beekeeping. Report of an evening rich in exchanges.

First, the brood

The introduction started by deepening the understanding of brood development. Above all it is the measurements and the analysis of the internal temperature of the hives that make it possible to evaluate the “strength” of a colony. Practical cases were presented, raising many questions from the audience.

Resource tracking

Precision beekeeping also requires accurate monitoring of resources, computed on an hourly, daily and seasonal basis. Honeydew was studied naturally, but also consumption according to the period considered. Swarming is also detectable by accurately measuring the weight of a hive. Combined with the internal temperature, we could understand a queen replacement following a swarming. We have shown and discussed how to identify each of these situations during this part.

Use the weather

Any colony depends heavily on its environment. Consequently we analyzed typical use cases with to different climatic conditions: periods of frost, heatwave, rain … This first meeting was an initiation that we will deepen later with the introduction of alerts to inform users of notable events on their apiary.

Testimony of a precision beekeeper

Jean-Claude PUECH, a beekeeper using Mellisphera for more than a year, joined the speakers to share his experience. Always busy with his work family, he showed how valuable can be to access data remotely and in real time. This feature makes sense because his three apiaries are several dozen kilometers from home. He showed how he anticipates his visits to his various apiaries, prepares his inspections, and targets hives to inspect.

Train and inform

This was our first public lecture. Precision apiculture is learned and we feel engaged in this mission of pedagogy. Training is necessary for any beekeeper wishing to apprehend this innovative vision of beekeeping management. Watch for future appointments!

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the Pau Chamber of Agriculture for allowing us to organize this event under ideal conditions. We also thank each of the participants who enriched the exchange with their questions and sharing!