Como cortar custos com o Sistema de Monitorização Apis – 1 de 4

Este artigo é o primeiro de uma série de quatro sobre os Custos Operacionais da apicultura e como a Apis Technology pode ajudar a cortá-los.

Credits: Flickr/ Paul van de Velde

Credits: Flickr/ Paul van de Velde

Se é um apicultor profissional, a questão fundamental é que a apicultura é uma atividade económica normal. Uma daquelas onde os deveres profissionais se misturam com o prazer. Por um lado, o objetivo do apicultor é maximizar as receitas, com a venda dos produtos apícolas, e maximizar a produtividade da atividade.

Por outro lado, o apicultor deve reduzir ao máximo os custos de atividade. Infelizmente a lista de custos é longa. Há muita coisa para gerir durante a atividade e um momento de distração pode ter consequências graves.

Inspeções

As inspeções a colmeias são uma das tarefas mais complicadas para os apicultores profissionais. A regra é simples: o apicultor tem de inspecionar periodicamente cada uma das suas colmeias, de forma a garantir que tudo está bem. Se a meteorologia permitir, pode abrir cada uma e verificar cada quadro. Senão, o apicultor tem de contar com a sua experiência e observar a colmeia sem a abrir.

Por outro lado, de cada vez que o apicultor abre uma colmeia para a inspecionar, ele interfere e desregula o ecossistema do enxame, e perturba as abelhas. A literatura aponta que as abelhas demoram cerca de 3 a 4 dias a estabilizar até aos parâmetros ideias.

A melhor métrica para medir os custos com inspeções é verificar quais são os custos com recursos humanos, €/Hora/Homem. Se o apicultor tiver que inspecionar cada colmeia, é fácil perceber o montante que isso representa no final do mês para a atividade.

Exemplo

Vamos ver um exemplo com 2 apiários e 30 colmeias cada. Assumindo que cada inspeção tem uma duração média de 15 minutos, e que o apicultor tem uma despesa média mensal de 15€/h. Fazendo uma média de 2 inspeções por mês, temos uma representação de custos muito próxima da seguinte:

Duração Mensal Inspeções (2x60x15min) – 30 horas

Custo Mensal Inspeções (15€/h) – 450€/mês

Custo Anual Inspeções – 5400€

No final de cada ano o apicultor contabiliza para gerir dois apiários com 60 colmeias um total de 5.400€ só imputados a inspeções. Estes custos são tanto maiores quanto mais colmeias o apicultor tenha.

O Sistema de Monitorização Apis é desenhado para permitir ao apicultor diminuir o número de inspeções no terreno. Para além disso permite também recolher dados que este é incapaz de observar nos meses que não pode abrir as colmeias.

Ao usar o Sistema de Monitorização Apis o apicultor profissional pode cortar definitivamente a maior fatia de custos da atividade para uma fracção.

How can Hive Monitoring System help you cut the costs of beekeeping – 1 of 4

This blog post is the first of a series of four about the Operational Costs of Beekeeping and how Apis Technology can help you cut them. This is dedicated to the Inspections.

Credits: Flickr/ Paul van de Velde

Credits: Flickr/ Paul van de Velde

If you’re a professional beekeeper, bottom line is that beekeeping is a normal economic activity. One of those where professional duties are mixed with pleasure. From one side, the goal is to maximize the revenues with the sale of honey, royal jelly among other things, or by renting some swarms for pollinating in farms, for example, and maximize productivity as much as possible.

On the other side, beekeeper should reduce the costs as much as he can. Unfortunately, the list is long because beekeeping is a hard job. There’re a lot of things to take care of, and at a single moment of neglect can cause a lot of damage.

Inspections

Inspections of beehives is one of the biggest pains of a professional beekeeper. Rule is simple: one must periodically make inspections in each beehive, just to be sure that everything is alright. If weather allows we must open the beehive and check each frame, and if don’t we must rely on a mix of faith, skill and experience.

In addition, each time the beekeeper opens a beehive to inspect it, he interferes and mess around with the ecosystem of the swarm, and disturb bees. Literature points that bees take to 3 to 4 days to set back to previous parameters.

The best metrics to assess this cost is measuring working force, or €/Hours/men. As one has to inspect every beehive, we should account the amount of money we have to spend to assure this activity.

Example

Let’s look at this example of 2 apiaries with 30 beehives each. Assuming that each inspection takes about 15 minutes’ average, and beekeeper has an average cost of 15€/h. With an average of 2 inspections per month, we have a cost breakdown close to this one:

Monthly duration of inspections (2x60x15min) – 30 hours/month

Average monthly cost (15€/h) – 450€/month

Average annual cost – 5.400€

At the end of each year, the beekeeper to manage only two apiaries with 60 beehives, has an average cost of 5.400€ only regarding inspections. This costs are as bigger as the number of beehives.

Apis Hive Monitor System is designed to allow the beekeeper to decrease the number of inspections at the field, because he is able to know the parameters that he use to know, just by checking his phone. In addition, it also allows to check information that he could never know in those colder months that he cannot open the beehive.

Using Apis Hive Monitor the beekeeper can effectively cut the biggest cost of beekeeping to a small margin.

Bees and cellphones: not another horror story

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The influence of telecommunications networks on bees is a narrative often visited and is based on unproven facts. Naturally this type of misinformation leds to resistances and doubts. To clarify that, we made this article.

The idea that theses networks have a negative effect on bees got great attention by media due to a small study made in Germany. That study was conducted based on very particular assumptions, such as the type of telecommunication towers used in the network. However, this study led to ideas and wrong conclusions that were leveraged and promoted by media and social networks.

That misinformation led the author of the study himself Stefan Kimmel to publicly declare to Associated Press that there’re no connection between his study and the phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

After that other studies were made about the subject-matter. Daniel Favre in Mobile phone-induced honeybee worker piping argue that there’s a connection between the decrease of bees population, and cellphones. The methodology of Favre’s experience was to place cellphones inside beehives with bees and listen to the sounds issued by the colonies when the cell was on active mode, inactive, ringing, turned off or on standby. He concluded that bees are not affected by the cellphone when it is inactive or in standby mode, but that when cellphone is ringing or active bees are disturbed.

Favre’s experience and his arguments bring more doubts than answers. Inserting one or two cellphones inside a beehive is not undeniable proof that bees suffer with radio frequency. A cellphone is very complex device with a lot of noises that may lead to several effects, due to the radio frequency signals that it receives and sends, the ringing sounds and the vibrations. This inability of Favre’s to be sharp and concise in the causes of the disturbances of bees led to conclude that arguments of the study are limited and in need of further developments.

There’s not a temporal connection between the massification of telecommunication networks and CCD phenomenon, which led us to conclude that the cause is more recent.

Due to this intense and misinformed buzz the United States Department of Agriculture stated (read article) that neither cellphones nor telecommunication towers had shown any connection to CCD, or poor health of bees. The four main suspects for CCD largely responsible for the fast decrease of bees population are climatic changes, diseases and parasites, lack of food and the proliferation of pesticides.

Studies that try to relate the decrease in population of bees and cellphones aren’t taken seriously by the scientific community, because they are pure speculation without real support where the only goal is to mask the real problems.

Credits of the image: Skitter Photo/Stockssnap.io