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What is Bee Health Guru-KS, 2021, post COID

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  • What is Bee Health Guru-KS, 2021, post COID

    Bee Health Guru is a multiple-use, Citizen Science project, to improve overall bee health. The newest version continues to work towards calibrating the acoustic analysis AI program that listens to the sounds that bees make. It also automatically maps eight bee health factors, putting a pin in a regional map every time someone uploads a visual colony inspection report. Rather than rely on surveys filled out at the kitchen table, relying on memory, BHG-KS is based on actual observations, at the time that the problem is first detected and reported.

    Based on feedback, people liked the app's quick and easy inspection reports. But, everyone wanted to be able to save the records from their own hives. And, we wanted to automatically map pest and disease outbreaks at a country level - with enough resolution to identify hot spots, but not so much that anyone could pinpoint the actual location (other than ourselves). We received thousands of recordings, but many were of poor quality and many were not accompanied by hive inspections. We've added a N/A button to the hive inspections. If you do not inspect for a factor and enter the results, the report will default to N/A that factor. Sending us recordings with no inspections at all does not help us tune the app. For 2021, we ask that everyone remember - we need clean recordings without a lot of background noise - that includes not only turning off engines, re-recording if a plane flies over or a tractor passes by, but also - please no signing and talking! We also ask that if you can, obtain a microphone, follow the instructions given below for setting up a RODE Smart-Lav+ or equivalent microphone, and use that to record your colonies. This would be a good, shared project for bee associations.

    If you donated before, you have access to a free upgrade. Be sure to check out the History and Mapping functions! If you like what we did, please consider donating again. This app has a lot of analytical, database, and mapping capabilities - it's a big job to make significant changes, and it has to be done by an experienced database professional. In other words, every change costs real dollars. Until we get to the stage where we have a fully calibrated (tuned) app, we rely on donations to continue to improve the app.

    Also, for 2021, we have partnered with a technology company working on a simple sensor suite with a microphone and other sensors that can be inserted into a hive or built into a hive body. Every recording and inspection report returned to us will also be used to tune the hive sensor suite - speeding up the effort to calibrate both systems for accuracy and reliability. At the moment, the app's acoustic part works reasonably well for American Foul Brood, appearing to even be sensitive to pre-emergent detection (colonies to watch, not necessarily treat or burn. Randy Oliver is helping us calibrate the mite section - we need this summer's batch of recordings to fine-tune that part of the app.

    Individuals can help us with target tuning efforts. Associations could mobilize app tuning parties?

    Finally, the mapping section of the revised app maps each of the eight factors based on the visual inspection reports. Eventually, as we tune and successfully calibrate the app, we hope to change the mapping over to plotting acoustic detections of pests and diseases. In the meantime, if every time you discover a pest or disease problem, you waited a day for the colony to settle down, then take a recording, fill out the inspection report for at least the diagnosed problem, and upload, you will add a pin by date and region to the map! Our goal this summer is to start to track American Foul Brood and Varroa Mite Outbreaks in near, real-time! But we can only do that with your help.
    The information provided by the Bee Health Guru is not intended to provide solutions to problems. It is given as a suggestion only. A multiplicity of factors could be impacting the health of your bees. We are not responsible for any health issues of your bees, including death, swarming, colony collapse, or issues arising from treatments as a result of any suggestions provided by the Bee Health Guru smartphone app, the Bee Health Guru team, or any answers posted in the accompanying BeeHealth.Guru online forum.
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