CAMPAIGNING group BeeWatch has created a smartphone app with the aim of helping to reverse the decline in the UK’s honeybee population.
By using the smartphone app the data generated by beeWatch will identify real time trends in bee colonies and losses, swarms, pesticide use and honey production.
It will also identify seasonal and geographical hot spots where research can be targeted to identify actual causes.
A registered user can anonymously record the planned use of pesticides, and beekeepers will be instantly notified on their app giving the maximum time to take action to prevent needless losses, with the locations displayed on a map.
When someone reports a swarm, a picture can be taken so that the swarm collectors receiving the notification can verify it is honeybees.
Beekeepers using the app will be able to protect their colonies, and at the same time reduce the amount of pesticide that gets into their honey.
They can collect and report on numbers of swarms, any colony losses as they happen, and levels of honey production.
A BeeWatch spokesperson said: “The demise of the honeybee has significant implications commercially for farmers, and ecologically for insects and dependent species of birds, fish and mammals.
“The challenges lie within the industry itself where the majority of all honeybees out there are as a result of amateur or hobby beekeepers.
“And by creating this app we are actively encouraging new and younger people to bring beekeeping into the 21st century through technology and education.”
The group has made a crowd-funding campaign and for a nominal cost people can receive the app and be part of the beeWatch system.
To find out more about the campaign, go to: https://igg.me/at/beewatch/x/17747859