By pooling and sharing colony data, beekeepers can develop local best practices for honey production and colony health. Furthermore, bee researchers can make good use of the data, especially if it is captured with their needs in mind. Finally, other researchers, such as climate change researchers can use the data. For example, one beekeeping climate scientist has found that in the Washington DC area, spring now comes a month earlier than it did 40 years ago.
Honey bee colony information and data sharing websites
The Bee Informed Partnership is an extension project that endeavors to decrease the number of honey bee colonies that die over the winter.
Hivetool is an open source project comprised of beekeepers who work in engineering, science, electronics and information technology as technicians, engineers, programmers and database and system administrators. Our goal is to produce software and hardware tools to monitor, manage and research bees and honey production.
Hive Tracks was born out of a passion for beekeeping. Based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, the Henson and Wilkes families are the driving force behind it. We have extensive experience in both computer science and beekeeping. Our goal is to provide a service to the world wide beekeeping community which is unmatched in ease of use and value (its FREE!) More than just a website, Hive Tracks is a powerful application where your beekeeping records are accessible and secure.
In the Mid-Atlantic region alone, over 30 beekeepers have volunteered to collect scale hive records in order to document the current status of regional nectar flows. Beekeepers from several additional states have expressed interest in participation. There are over 100,000 beekeepers in the US, with an average distribution of 1 hive per 2 sq. km. Hives can be easily placed on scales to produce valuable and highly informative data on the timing of nectar flow. This HoneyBeeNet Web site provides a central location for the collection and sharing of nectar flow records by volunteers and provides comparisons with satellite data. We hope to better understand how climate and land use/land cover changes affect the nectar flows. We have recently forged a alliance with the National Pheonology Network (NPN), who currently have several efforts underway aimed at understanding the timing of plant and animal life cycle events (phenology). With their assistance we hope our beekeepers and others can also track the phenology of plant species that are important to honeybees.
An example of an open-source bee-hive monitoring system by Glyn and Clive Hudson on Open Energy Monitor.org