Making a Purchasing Decision
Colony monitoring technology is seeing explosive growth. And colony monitoring technology is still in its infancy. New vendors appear frequently while others disappear. Sensors are improving and prices are falling simultaneously. Sensor types and sensor sets are evolving continuously. No doubt the next five years will see as many changes as the previous five.
If the cost of colony monitoring technology appears high, consider the benefits. The benefit of detecting a weak colony early on, of preventing a swarm, of adding a honey super when needed, of harvesting at peak. Detecting these events a couple times a year will pay for the monitoring technology.
Things to consider when selecting a vendor and a sensor set:
- How the sensor set might cut your losses and increase your yields (e.g., detect flow start/stop, space needs, queen problems, stressors, etc.)
- Initial costs (purchasing, shipping) and continuing costs (batteries, communications)
- The ability to share and download your data.
- The vendor’s reputation for value and reliability
- The vendor’s location, with respect to your location