© 2017-2021, ZBees Apiary, Waynesville, NC.                                                                                                          Buzz the Apiary

Lifetime member of the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association

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.

Apiary Inspections Foragers returning to hive during an oxalic acid treatment

Foragers trying to enter the hive during a Spring “oxalic acid” treatment.

Choose a Method of Recording Hive Inspections

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.

In all fairness, no company designs and builds software for a completely free cost. However, I have searched the Internet and found that Appi Bee Services, Ltd has the lowest cost of any software I have tried. When I finally set up an account with the company I received a hundred “free-credits,” which equates to 100 service inspections or several years of normal hive inspections. Since I do a lot of research on my colonies, I purchased an additional 100-credits for about $7.00 US- very reasonably priced when you consider many beekeeping application companies want you to pay a monthly subscription fee. For more information, view their FAQ’s at “Can I really start using HiveSmartHQ for free?” Beekeepers who prefer to keep their data on paper can do so because HiveSmartHQ also provides inspection sheets to record all sorts of hive data. See the following link to download and print the PDF forms, Section 2 Forms, at https://appibee.com/tips.html#s5a.