precision beekeeping

Precision Beekeeping 101

Let’s start from the beginning. In this post, one of the first I am writing, we will define the term “precision beekeeping”.

Definition of Precision Beekeeping

You have certainly heard about hive monitoring. These are part of a broader concept: precision beekeeping. It is a systemic vision of beekeeping practice that is supported by the consistent integration of all the information necessary for the beekeeper.

The four pillars

In general, precision beekeeping is based on four pillars:

  • bee colonies, with their vital parameters
  • the environment, with meteorology and blooms
  • the beekeeper who observes and acts on his environment
  • the community that offers the opportunity for a deeper understanding.

It is only by linking these four sources of information that the system as a whole can be addressed. It then becomes possible to design services with high added value.

Knowing that a honeyflow is starting is useful information for the beekeeper. Being able to link it with the surrounding flowering and having access to the blooming history is even better.
A hive with a falling brood temperature is worrying information pointing to a declining brood. Being able to contextualize it with the latest operations of the beekeeper or with the neighbouring hives dynamics is even better.

Provide decision-making information

The ultimate goal of precision beekeeping is to provide the beekeeper with actionable information.

This means information that is quickly understandable because it is expressed in the jargon of the profession, contextual, relevant at the given moment and opening the possibility for an action or a remedy. In this state of mind, commercial beekeepers have a new lever to optimize their operations.

As for backyard beekeepers, they can count on a guide to improve their practice, if they are initiating, or push their research and experiment further for the most curious of them.

In both cases the practice of beekeeping is transformed. It is more intense, more relevant and more precise.

It is like a sixth sense

Digital tools do not keep the beekeeper away from his apiary. On the contrary, they provide him with keys to better understand events that take place, too often outside his five senses. By relieving him/her from of a task of collecting information that he only can make by approximation, the beekeeper can implement a more advanced practice.

To go further

find some of the application cases