Apiary Management Software Comparison

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New beekeepers entering beekeeping over the years bring with them technology and cause beekeeping to take many great steps forward. This article is an Apiary management software comparison to help you choose the best for your beekeeping operation. The best software used in apiary management gives you information and reminders for activities you should carry out. It also needs to be easy to use and available in various methods across devices, both online and offline. Both beginner and experienced beekeepers should be able to use the software with no difficulties. We evaluate the best and popular apiary management software available to beekeepers based on these and more criterion.

Software Name Availability (Online and Offline) Design and ease of Use Scheduling of Activities Mapping Beehives and Apiaries Range of Data and Reports Score
BeeCloud Not clear Fairly well designed Available Available Beehive and Apiary levels 3
Farmbrite Online Good design Available Not available Not detailed enough 4
BeeKeepPal Both online and offline Great design and interface Available Very well done Great range; beehive, apiary and company levels 5
HiveTracks Both online and offline Fair design and interface Available Not very well done Details not available 4
MyApiary Online only Good design Available Available Not enough range for conclusive reports 3
ApiManager Online only Great interface Not very well done Not available Basic reporting 3

 

BeeCloud

The promise of managing beehives and apiaries in an easy way is the most you get from BeeCloud. The software has been in development and supposed beta testing for long enough. Not much progress is being seen in getting the app to its first final version. BeeCloud claims to help beekeeping by helping apiarists record data with ease. It then aims to be able to use that data to help beekeepers increase production and general productivity.

If it ever gets finished, you may hope to see some features in the software such as integrated beehive management. This will be segmented at beehive level and also at apiary level. Its claim in this feature to be able to track foraging of honeybees is truly far-fetched and unrealistic. It remains to be seen how the app will implement its apiary location feature and how useful it will be. Inspections will be kept track of in BeeCloud. These are the inspections you will have already made. Testing this feature is not yet available despite its being an important aspect of beekeeping. BeeCloud wants to keep track of your feeding of bees. It remains to be seen how useful this feature will be for beekeepers with strong honeybee colonies that do not require feeding.

Planning work with BeeCloud

Planning your work is another feature of BeeCloud when it will be available. Most likely, this will be the usual beekeeping activities such as beehive inspections and harvesting. BeeCloud is currently available for viewing on PC. It promises to be available on mobile phones and tablets. It is not clear whether the software will be accessible in online mode only or both online and offline. Software availability for beekeepers in apiaries that are in remote places is important with apiary management software.  Pricing information for this app is not available. It is therefore not clear whether the software is free or paid for before you get access.

Farmbrite

This is beekeeping management software for optimizing your beehive and apiary management. The software claims to help you in planning, management and reporting in beekeeping. This can help you gain insights into the health of your commercial beehives. Farmbrite promises to be flexible so you can manage your apiary in your own way. This lack of set standards is unfortunately one of Farmbrite’s biggest weaknesses. In the process of tinkering with the software to personalize your use, you may end up omitting important features and adding too much of what is not crucial. Farmbrite comes at a certain cost that is not easily affordable by beginner and hobbyist beekeepers. It locks out those that have less financial resource to spend on beekeeping software.

Accurate records are a common denominator in all beekeeping management software you find around. Farmbrite complies with this basic aspect of apiary management software. It promises accurate recordkeeping so you can measure and track production in your beehives. It does this at beehive level. This helps you get more efficient in your operations. You are able to see how resources are impacting production. Farmbrite has been around since 2012. It has seen very few upgrades to keep up with advances in core technologies that it utilizes. This limits beekeepers to accessing advantages of technologies that are quite on the older side of things.

Accessing Farmbrite

Farmbrite allows production tracking from virtually anywhere. It works with internet connectivity on any device that you have such as a PC, tablet and smartphone. You can therefore access your data on Farmbrite anywhere you are in the world. However, this software does not allow you to input data when you do not have an internet connection. Reports you get from Farmbrite are customizable in some aspects. You may also stick to its standard reports if you prefer so.

Pricing of Farmbrite’s access packages starts with a limited free trial for a period of 14 days only. It then moves you through a range of monthly packages for which you pay in either monthly or yearly installments. This pricing plan is inflexible to the needs of hobbyist and beginner beekeepers. Even experienced beekeepers with small beekeeping operations find it difficult to meet the cost of using this software.

BeeKeepPal

BeeKeepPal is powerful apiary management software that is revolutionizing the way beekeepers use technology in beekeeping. The software is cloud based with access via both PC and mobile devices. It works superbly on your android and iOS devices including smartphones, tablets and Apple devices. Its interface is very nicely crafted and navigating through the application is easy. This software comes with mobile apps for easy access of the software on mobile devices. The apps work even when you are offline, so you are able to keep recording your data. When you get back to an internet connection, the app sends data and synchronizes with the servers.

This is an app that has taken a lot of beekeeper’s needs into consideration. The software is made by BeeKeepClub which has been at the forefront of championing better information flow to beekeepers. The club also drives technology uptake and modernization of beekeeping with adoption of best practices. This has made beekeepers working with BeeKeepClub realize great outcomes in their beekeeping including unprecedented growth and high yields of beehive products. BeeKeepPal shows the input that has gone into it just by looking at its interface. It is well done, and communicates what the software is really about.

You get many useful features with BeeKeepPal. The features encompass the 3 major layers of features found in beekeeping management software. These are basic, the necessary, and the luxury features. BeeKeepPal has a realistic and highly functional blend of all these types of features. It is therefore very effective in beekeeping and makes your operation very efficient. The features include;

Availability and access of the application both online and offline

BeeKeepPal has been built with a powerful engine running its recording and analytics. You gain access this engine both online and retain many capabilities when you go offline. You can keep recording data onto the software when you are offline. It will later upload to the servers and be included in the analytical processes of the software.

Interface that is easy to use and navigate through

Keeping in mind that beekeepers at apiaries are most likely wearing gloves, BeeKeepPal has made entry of data easy in the application. It has nicely sized font for easy reading and checkboxes for data entry. Typing into the app is minimal so you rarely have to take off your beekeeping gloves. You can therefore use this software as you go through beehives carrying out different activities.

Scheduling of various tasks and getting reminders

Many apps allow you to schedule activities and tasks that need to be carried out. BeeKeepPal has this and more. It allows you to set reminders for tasks and decide if to be prompted via email or in the application. Additionally, the software is capable of determining if a certain activity needs to be done and prompting you. This capability to suggest useful ideas and tasks sets BeeKeepPal apart from other apiary management software.

Mapping of beehives and apiaries

Not all beekeepers have many beehives to look after. Those with small beekeeping operations are often left out of things in many beekeeping software applications. BeeKeepPal has made it possible for beginner beekeepers to use software early on in their beekeeping. The BeeKeepPal software allows mapping of both beehive and apiaries so it caters to the needs of both small-scale and large-scale beekeeping operations.

Range of reporting and analytics

With BeeKeepPal, you get results in reports and analytical processes at both beehive and apiary level. The software then goes a step further and does a lot at company level. This is great for when you have more than one apiary. You can easily see which apiary is working well, and which one is letting you down. At company level, you get detailed reports about production, expenditure and incomes.

Weather analysis and beehive inspection recommendations

In the BeeKeepPal software, you are given functionality to pre-determine suitability of carrying out a beehive inspection. Using weather predictions, the software gives you CheckInspect. This is a tool to help you analyze the weather with an aim to determine safety of going out on a beehive inspection. CheckInspect then recommends to you when it is best to go on a beehive inspection in sets of 3 hours. It includes results for a whole week, so you can easily plan the best time for a beehive inspection during which you will not expose your honeybee colonies to adverse weather conditions.

HiveTracks

Most content and reviews you read about beekeeping software have something about HiveTracks. It has been around for many years and many beekeepers adopted it into their beekeeping operations. Hive tracks helps you with recordkeeping so you can track productivity. The app claims to help beekeepers foster good health in their honeybee colonies. Another notable feature of HiveTracks is smart maps incorporated in the software. It helps you see the approximate areas your honeybees are foraging by drawing a ring of 2-3 miles radius around your apiary location.

Planning and scheduling your beehive activities is made possible using HiveTracks. It allows you to set reminders so that you do not miss the important activities you need to carry out. With HiveTracks, you have the ability to share your data and outcomes with other beekeepers. The software is available on both mobile and web interfaces. It has offline function capabilities so you are free to use it in areas with no cellular or internet networks. HiveTracks promises to simplify your beekeeping by being companion software for managing your apiary. This software application has a free trial, and other packages that you purchase on a monthly basis.

MyApiary

MyApiary software helps you eliminate paperwork in beekeeping. It claims to free your time for more important beekeeping activities. The software also has a feature for teams working in the same apiaries. This helps the teams stay updated on all happenings in the apiary of concern. Hive records are synchronized between these teams, and you can get work schedules on a weekly basis from the software to send to your team. The software then helps you track progress of the team going through carrying out these tasks.

Reports by MyApiary

Reports you get from MyApiary start with real-time beehive reports and general approximations of each beehive’s health. You also get reports detailing costs and performance indicators. The software stores data so it gives you historical records showing progress of your apiary. This software helps you get access to your data easily so you can make comparisons and monitor growth. You can easily identify the apiaries or beehives that are not performing well.

Accessing and using this software is after purchasing a plan. The plans start with a base plan, and the most costly one is the Enterprise plan. Some of the plans allow for a 30-day trial while others do not. MyApiary is expensive apiary management software for even the biggest beekeeping operations. Its plans are highly priced for access to even the least and basic of its features. This makes it very unsuitable for beginner beekeepers and those with small beekeeping operations.

MyApiary Employee Tracking

This software application promises you better employee tracking and boosted accountability of the employees. This may be due to the ability to create teams, tasks and follow how the tasks are being done. It saves you from having to micro-manage your staff. It can track your staff so you are sure if they are present at work. You can also tell how much work was done by each staff member. This software has incorporated RFID technology for recognition of apiary equipment and tools. It is capable of being used in prevention of disease and pest spread using barrier management systems.

ApiManager

Continuous development is the hallmark of this apiary management software. It claims to be able to work on all interfaces from smartphones to computers. This is an application that is accessible via internet. It does not work when you go offline. The software prides itself in its recordkeeping capabilities. It has majored on this single aspect. Even then, ApiManager is a little better priced than most other applications and software available to beekeepers. It allows you to do free registration and then access the software in free mode for use with up to 20 beehives. From there, you are required to pay for additional beehives. This offer makes the software great for use by small-scale beekeepers and beginner beekeepers. It is great for when you are starting using beekeeping apps and are learning how to use most of them.

ApiManager works at both beehive and apiary levels. It helps you manage important information about your beekeeping. It records data input from beehive inspections and other management activities. This app claims to be able to help you with your budgeting needs and decision making when planning for your apiaries. It keeps track of your harvests and associated data of the products you get from your beekeeping. Financial transactions can be entered into the application, so it helps you easily see if you are making profits or not.

How BeeKeepPal Improves upon Existing Apps

Increased availability of beekeeping management software has led to some competition between these apps. BeeKeepPal coming into the scene is giving beekeepers across the world improvements upon nearly all the existing beekeeping apps. It is a product of studying and researching on these apps and their offered features, with an aim to come up with a comprehensive beekeeping software application. For BeeKeepPal, you do not have to spend a large amount of money just to gain access and use the software. The major improvements on existing beekeeping apps include, and are not limited to;

Pricing

One cannot ignore the impact of pricing on uptake and use of software. Modern beekeeping depends to a large degree on ability to keep accurate records and be able to refer to the records at a moment’s notice. Expensive options are out of reach for many beginner beekeepers. Hobbyists too and those with small beekeeping operations get locked out of the expensive applications. BeeKeepPal is bridging this divide by being fairly priced. It has a free access package option that is great for trying out the app as well as the small or low-budget beekeeping operations that may be in their infancy. Billing in BeeKeepPal is done monthly or annually – depending on your choice.

Analytics

The engine behind BeeKeepPal is one with superior computational capabilities. It gives you better speed and outcomes of analytical processes within the software. Get your reports at hive level, apiary level and company level. Other reports include financials and production records that help you to easily track your output from the beekeeping operation. Get this power working for you and giving you reports that you can rely on in management of your beekeeping operation. Reports you get from BeeKeepPal are detailed. They are not just numbers and graphs; they give you quick and clear understanding of how your beekeeping operation is getting along.

Recommendations

There is no other beekeeping management software that gives beekeepers recommendations and suggestions on what to do. This BeeKeepPal software is leading the way in beekeeping management by giving beekeepers recommendations about some things they could do to make their beekeeping operation better. The app remembers those hive inspections that you forgot to schedule, suggests when it is time to split a hive, and anticipates the need to prepare beehives for wintering, among others. Having software that is ready and willing to help you all the time in your beekeeping is something not many beekeepers thought would ever be possible. BeeKeepPal has made this real and is truly the single most reliable companion apiary management software for your beekeeping.

Knowledgebase

Use BeeKeepPal’s knowledgebase of best practices in your beekeeping operation for high yields and easy time being a beekeeper. This knowledgebase is prepared from deeply researched information and the questions of beekeepers across the globe. It is comprehensive, extensive and impressive. It answers your questions and solves problems very easily. With BeeKeepPal, you gain access to this knowledgebase that is updated frequently and constantly to add more topics and incorporate developments and changes in beekeeping practices. This is not only a useful library of information, but also a guide that many beekeepers can only hope to have by buying tens of expensive beekeeping books.

Conclusion

Beekeepers have the opportunity to incorporate technologies in their beekeeping. This is unlike the past where these technologies were not available or in their infancy stages. They were neither rigorously tested nor as robust as they are today. In modern times, advanced software and internet availability make adoption of technology into beekeeping easy and seamless. Both beginner and experienced beekeepers have contributed to the development and testing of these software applications. You are therefore sure to get the best for your apiary when you take to software such as BeeKeepPal. Use the pointers in this apiary management software comparison article in your quest for the best software to use in your beekeeping.

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