Location is the most important factor that may significantly affect the beekeeper’s yield, or even the beehives’ health, and it can be researched, assessed and selected based on objective and measurable criteria. Beekeepers need a reliable tool to carry out location analyses and suggestions instead of relying on tradition and hearsay; thus comes forth BeeLive. BeeLive will offer processed data, reports and evaluation of installation sites based on geospatial data (resources, infrastructure and vegetation), Copernicus satellite data, sensors/trackers on apiaries, and, most importantly, the community of beekeepers and individuals who will participate through event logging, land allocation/rental for installation and forum for exchange of views.
Potential users are:
• Beekeepers and cooperatives who wish to be informed about the best apiary installation areas, according to their needs and requirements, and monitor their apiaries with periodical updates. According to EU1, there are 17,5 million hives managed by 650 thousands beekeepers estimated to be registered and active during the period 2020-2022, making EU the world’s second largest honey producer. The number of beekeepers has been increasing the past decade due to people searching for alternative sources of income or hobbies.
• Agricultural producers, land owners, local government authorities and non-government organizations wishing to share their land with beekeepers either for rent or as a reciprocal benefit for their crops given bee pollination.
• Private sector companies active in the field of Internet of Things and drones
Before satellite data became available, any location decision was - to a degree - subjective since accurate and measurable spatial data were hard and expensive to acquire. Galileo positioning system in conjunction with Copernicus satellite program, advanced analytics and machine learning will make the difference. The beekeepers will benefit from BeeLive as in the following:
• They will be able to make rational decisions about apiary installation.
• Operating costs (transport, etc.) may be significantly reduced due to calculated decisions.
• Location of desired vegetation (e.g. flowers, pine, oak, etc.) will be easier to discover instead of hearsay or costly searches around the country.
• Safe placement in permitted areas (distance from roads/residential areas/schools).
• Real-time notifications on weather conditions or events in the area.
• Utilization of historical data to discover long-term profitable locations.
• In periods of lockdowns (e.g. Covid-19), one may monitor apiaries, remotely through the app with real-time data, as well as connect with fellow beekeepers and support each other.
• Establishment of a community of beekeepers which will contribute to the strengthening of the beekeeping industry and the transition from amateur beekeeping to smart beekeeping.