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.
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 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.
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.