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  • Jerry Bromenshenk
    replied
    Carol, I answered you directly today via email. Jerry

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  • Carol
    replied
    I found this site a year ago and I would love to be a part of this! How can I get the app now since I missed the kickstarter campaign? How do I get the microphone and such, because I know my bees will not tolerate a phone being slid into the entrance. (I have tired to get video of them and they just wont have it)

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  • Jerry Bromenshenk
    replied
    We are working on that exact issue. We are planning on producing short training videos. However, COVID-19 lock-down, an earthquake 48 hours ago, and now snow in MT have slowed things up a bit. It's a perfect time to get recordings of dead-out colonies before cleaning them up. Just clear a path for the microphone or smartphone. Empty hives (of bees) with drawn comb, honey stores, if any, and dead bee bodies are the perfect control hives for tuning the app to dead-out colonies.

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  • Parsons' Apiary
    replied
    I have the app and it is working correctly on iOs device.
    I received the app rather late in the season (for my location) to do all of the requests of "Project Updates", so my device so far has not done anything.
    Now that a new season is upon us, I have the opportunity in about a month or so to start utilizing it.

    What would you recommend or maybe put something out to New Users so that we hit the ground running, because, obviously I'd think, that most of the "Project Updates" are outdated due to time of year, review of already collected data, etc.

    So for us NEW app users, some guidelines or recommendations would be appreciated.

    Looking forward to getting this going.

    Thanks,

    Leave a comment:


  • Jerry Bromenshenk
    replied
    Thanks Deb. Eventually, the app should do this, but it has to be calibrated for the type of smartphone, and for regions, since bees have dialects. That's why we have people like Randy Oliver doing testing and making recordings for us. I will have David Firth respond to Bee Source.

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  • DebC
    replied
    Hi Jerry, there was some talk on Bee Source a week or so ago regarding this app. I believe most of the users have an expectation of this app actually telling them what is going on in the hive and not understanding the upload of data and filling out the notes is to refine the app. Maybe you could post this on Bee Source too. Deb

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  • Jerry Bromenshenk
    started a topic App Status Report

    App Status Report

    It's time to get serious about calibrating this app. You haven't heard from us for a while, although we have issued some updates through the Kickstarter list of backers.

    In response to questions:

    1) You haven't heard from us for a while because it takes time to manually listen to thousands of recordings, and sort out those that are usable.
    2) By late September, bees in the northern states have stopped foraging and have clustered for winter. Our app is not designed for use during the 'winter dormant' period, the colonies hardly make any sounds.
    3) The app is designed for use during the peak of foraging on sunny days when the colonies settle into their normal growing season activities.

    What have we learned?

    Out of all of the uploaded reports, we could not use about 3/4 of the uploaded recordings, due to:
    1. Poor recordings, phones or microphones were not inserted deep enough into hives resulting in low amplitude recordings - please try to get recordings the fall near or within the optimum recording volume,
    2. Beekeepers Singing or Talking while recording - most turned off noisy engines, but at this point, the app isn't trained to ignore the plethora of sounds in a bee yard. We need good recordings of the sounds inside the hive, strong (loud) compared to exterior noises.
      1. We are delighted to know that beekeepers like to sing, are happy while they work, but it ruins the recordings.
    3. Beekeepers agitating the bees so much that the bees attack the phone or microphone. Bees 'stinging the device or microphone' fills recordings with snaps and taps. Gently insert the microphone or phone, allow some time for bees to settle down.
      1. If you have a headphone jack, see if you can listen to the bees, wait to start a recording until the zips, snaps, taps decline in frequency. An occasional one may occur, but active attacks on the equipment will drown out typical colony sounds.
    4. State in a Comment (Note) whether you Inspected the recorded colony or did not Inspect the colony. at this stage of the testing, we don't know whether recordings are from a healthy hive, and there was nothing to report in the inspection, or whether the hive was not inspected.
    Immediate Spring Priorities:
    1. Check that your App is Still Active. Android versions from Play Store should still be active, but please check. Apple store iPhone and iPad versions may get shut down and have to be renewed. If so, please contact [email protected] so that he can renew.
    2. While checking your over-wintered colonies, if you find a dead-out, record it before tossing out dead bees, etc. We need a good baseline for hives with drawn comb, piles of dead bees - just clear a path for the phone or microphone and slide as close to the center of the bottom board as possible.
      1. Add Dead-Out to the Comments, and type of hive (e.g, standard ten frames, eight frames, top bar, plastic hive, etc.
    3. When inspecting your over-wintered colonies, keep notes on colony health. Then in a day or two, so that the colony settles down, record, and fill out the inspection form in the app based on your notes. Upload to us.
    4. In the Inspection Comment, add a note that you first inspected, then went back to record. Add any other observations that you made, as appropriate. Recordings from verified healthy colonies are as important as verified 'not normal' by hive inspection (saw AFB, EFB, chalkbrood, mites, queen not laying, etc.).
    Things to Do:
    1. Start following and using this forum. Tell us what you like and don't like about the app.
    2. Report any problems or successes, share your experiences.
    3. We want a community of engaged testers, talking to us and each other. This Bulletin Board was set up for that purpose, please start using it more.

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