© 2017-19, ZBees Apiary, Waynesville, NC. Buzz the Apiary
Every apiary must be inspected at some scheduled time and how often that occurs is determined by the type of inspection the beekeeper is going to perform. Before any inspection is conducted the beekeeper must ensure that the proper tools, equipment, and supplies are available for the inspection. I can attest from experience that is quite interruptive and stressful to the bees to have to leave the hive and gather more tools. Experience has shown me that the longer the hive stays open the longer it seems to take certain colonies to recover and get back to business. This disorientation or interruption of their daily routine can have a detrimental effect on their activities.
There are various ways for the beekeeper to track hive inspections; by ledger or note book, spreadsheets, vocal recordings, or application software. Granted, many beekeepers do not keep a written record of their inspections and thus, whenever an issue arises which needs an analysis then, it becomes quite difficult to remember factors such as: the affected hive, which frame presented problems, the date, time, weather, or an array of other things which the beekeepers may need to make a true analysis of any root problems which need immediate attention.
Foragers trying to enter the hive during a Spring “oxalic acid” treatment.
Personally, I have tried several versions of “beekeeping” software or applications on the Internet and I prefer to use an application called HiveSmartHQ by Appi Bee Services, Ltd, out of New Zealand.
Why do I like this application software?
First, the “app” is client-based and not server-based, meaning I do not need to continually log-in to a Internet connection to use the software server. Second, the application is available for either the iOS® or Android® format and it operates locally on your phone or tablet device. Third, the application allows the user to back-up their data “for free” to the company’s server. Finally, the software developers are down to earth beekeepers who actually listen to their users and they will consider implementing a valid “user” suggestion into future builds or releases.
If you have ever wondered how many honeybees are in the typical hive, then here is a basic method I use to estimate the average bee count per hive. Let us begin by calculating the average number of cells in a typical deep-frame.
Naturally, these average cell counts do not account for any bees in the honey supers or foragers and as such it is quite possible for a colony to reach a higher threshold.
Average number of cells per square inch of comb
16 cells per side.
Another frame of new comb on a black plastic foundation insert.
A Recap of the Math for a Healthy Deep 10-Frame Box of Brood
Remember, every 21 days the hive grows with new bees and approximately every 63 days old bees die off.
Thus, apiaries exponentially grow and fluctuate based on various factors like: old age, bees who get lost in flight, bees eaten by birds, or bees killed by the beekeeper.
Another thought- the average 3-lb package of honeybees is about 11,000 bees. So, 386,000 / 11,000 = 35 packages of bees.
At an average cost of $120 per package, you now have an apiary valued at approximately $4,200 and this does not include anything but honeybees. Add in the cost of equipment, tools, gear, and supplies and the beekeeper begins to correlate the “true value of the apiary.” This factor alone should entice every beekeeper to closely monitor their apiary and document apiary data for continued success in the future.
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