We have been working for over a year to develop a BIP hive scale that will enable beekeepers and beekeeping clubs to gather and use data from their own hives to follow nectar flows, honey production, swarm alerts, theft alerts and other valuable data about what is happening within their own colony. Having these data are helpful in making timely and educated management decisions. Owning a BIP scale will also enable beekeepers to become plugged into a national network of hive scales and receive live feedback about what is happening in their region as well as around the country. Being part of this project makes the data doubly productive as researchers and scientists who tap into this data stream may learn more about the linkages between nectar flows, nosema disease, varroa populations and other colony health issues. This is the first step in merging what has already been started by NASA at www.honeybeenet.org in tracking the climate, vegetation and nectar flow, to the Bee Informed Partnership larger database. Our colleagues in this venture include Jonathan Engelsma and Anne Marie Fauvel at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Anne Marie recently wrote a humorous account of their hive scale efforts and what we have planned for BIP in a Walter Kelley newsletter that we’d like to share with you:
More information will be available soon with orders being taken in September 2013 with delivery of the scales in early 2014. The estimated price range is between $500-$700. Stay tuned for the launch of this exciting effort in the fall and if you are interested, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We invite you to join our team!