A useful feature of the ApisProtect Monitor is that it provides movement alerts. This helps to save colonies quickly during the winter by detecting hives that have been blown over by storms or knocked over by farm or wild animals and exposing such colonies to bad weather.
An interesting use case for this technology occurred during one of our proof of concept trials in 2020. The trial took place in an apiary in the USA during the summer, when a bear decided to visit the apiary. While a cartoon might depict this scenario with a bear having its fill of honey from the hive, its main target is usually the brood. The high protein content in the eggs/larvae make them targets for the bears.
The bear’s initial visit to the apiary was not too destructive, but they did bump off a number of hives in the apiary. This triggered movement alerts on the ApisProtect dashboard as shown in Figure 1. These alerts happen in real time and are also available via text or email.
The beekeeper received these alerts and knew that neither himself nor his workers were in that apiary at the time. They visited the apiary the next day and saw a number of hives askew as if the bear had been sniffing around but had not yet disturbed any of the hives. The beekeeper was able to install bear fencing before the bears damaged both the equipment and honey bees, potentially saving thousands of dollars for repairs.
This is understandably a very unlikely scenario in Ireland or the UK, but hives can quite easily be knocked over by farm animals or storms.
ApisProtect was told of such a story in Ireland one winter, where the beekeeper had their hives in a field that was visible from the road so that they could check the hives were intact by simply driving past. Livestock from a neighbouring field knocked over the hives and the bees where left exposed to the rain and cold. However, the livestock owner put the hives back in place sometime later without telling the beekeeper and the beekeeper continued to drive by the apiary, thinking that their colonies were fine, when in fact several were dead. If they had received an alert in time, the beekeeper’s timeliness in responding to such an incident could have saved those colonies.
Have you arrived at your apiary only to find your hives knocked over? Have you ever forgotten to strap down your hives prior to a storm? Please get in touch to share your experiences and to learn more about how the ApisProtect monitor can help.
Watch this short video to learn how quickly and easily you can install these monitors in the hive.