I've started using the free edition of Beetight (since I only have 2 hives), and I like it. It's simple and seems pretty robust. I can't use the android app that comes with the paid version, but the QR code that you can print off is a nice touch. I'd definitely code my hives if I had more than 4-5. Would probably work great printing onto some label stock, and if I were a commercial beek, I'd definitely stick an extra QR code under the bottom board to help in identifying stolen hives.
When you print the QR code, what seems to hold up the longest?
I would think if I used a mailing label in our humidity/rain, it would be gone before it served its purpose...
FL Beak, some of the new labels are pretty good. We use ones that can't be torn etc... and they last in the sun. Only issue, they stick a little better to non painted surfaces for the most part (inside a hive should be fine, not windy in there). Other than that, they peel off and stick just like any other label.
I've started my Access DB for beekeeps. If you want something added let me know. I'm just building the structure now, got the main menu up and it cycles through pics you can link to it. I do plan on making it barcoding friendly, but not sure how much interest is there really. It will have equipment tracking as well.
Exactly which labels are you using? Are you printing them on a laser BW? Also, wouldn't it be hard to scan the code if its inside the hive?
I use the paid version of beetight, which is cheap, and gives you quite a bit of added functionality. The only thing I dislike about it is the interface is a bit wonky, especially on the mobile apps. Still, its a good value.
I'll have to see what we get. Our printers are thermal transfer, a laser would be just as good as far as durability. The label is actually made of plastic I believe but you wouldn't know it until you try to rip it, they're pretty tough. Inside the hive was mentioned as a way of safeguarding for theft purposes, outside they should work fine, we've just noticed with painted surface, they may blow off in high winds where as plain wood stakes etc... no issues at all.
jdawdy, i'm creating this more for people running it as a small business. It will have hive tracking but also more business related stuff (like inventory management/sales) etc... built in as well.
JRG13- Infering that your are developing a database? You have my attention with the addition of tracking small business data
It will have forms on it to allow for inventory management via barcode scanning etc... Tracking purchases/income as well. Once I get the bulk of it ready, if you need customization I will work with you. I will begin putting the function together this week. My main goal is to be able to print out worksheets for a set of hives or outyards that you can collect data on or make notes etc... as well as track inidividual hive data as you it suits you. I may put in a queen building form as well, but will need some consensus for that, but my plan is for the user to input their start or end dates and it can build the rest but it's not as easy as it sounds since people use different methods. But, it would allow to track how many cells went in, how many came out, how many queens produced in the end with minimal effort.
Basic hive/outyard/apiary set up will be straightforward. Put in location, # hives, brand etc..... Track equipment size/# broodboxes/# supers added/Queen source. Feel free to pm me with any other ideas.
JRG13, have you looked at using RFID tags? I am interested in what you are working on also, but purely as a hive event recording tool.
Playing around with both Beetight and Hive Tracks, I sort of have a preference for Hive Tracks. I like the main page layout - with number of stacked hives and color coordination - and so I can see how built up my colonies are what shape they're in without having to delve too deep into the program. Both are powerful tools, it's just user preference in the end :)
I haven't looked into RFID roland. I assume a scanner of some sort reads the tag and sends an input? I assume it would be much like using a barcode scanner as an input, if so, it's easy to capture the input if the reader can be hooked up to a computer. I'll do some research and see what I can do.
RFID would be pretty cool. Our town library has all the books RFID'd, so all I do when I check out is scan my card and then place all the books on the counter within a certain area. The books are read 4 to five deep at a time and it's pretty instantaneous. I think this would be a pretty amazing tool for many facets. Just reading about how someone lost all their hives to theft. With RFID on the hive bodies, you could shame someone real fast and real bad, and I wouldn't feel bad about doing it. The future is here, whether you like it or not!... except that the bees are doing what they've been doing for millions of years. Hehe...
@beetastict _ i used bee hive manager until water damage destroyed my last phone, and I lost my data. I like the looks of hive tracks- but wonder how much data it uses? I'd rather not have to change/upgrade my cell program. Beetight seems like you can use the program without cell service, then once you get a signal or wifi, it can update the web based portion of the program, which is why I'm leaning toward beetight
I'm going to try out the Andriod phone app, Beehive Manager, as was suggested (and it's a free app). And probably keep a blog as well. It looks fairly simple to use and there were a few others. One was a bit pricey, however.
True, it wouldn't be like a spot gps or anything, but it could help if someone did a quick repaint of hive bodies and you had a hunch.
FL Beak, yes, the only downside with Hive Tracks is the need for cell reception. Fortunately all my yards have that possibility. If not I would go with another program.
NFC chips and Android? Put the tag in the hive, touch your phone to the outside of the hive and have the phone do whatever you've scripted it to (insert a row in a database, submit a webform, text someone, anything you want to record your hive visit / activities).
My beekeeping software is still alive. Take a look. I am sorry I have not the ability to develop it further, but it will as is cover nearly everything you need to take notes about in beekeeping.
If I were inclined to have an on-my-PC-only record, I think I'd be more inclined to use Access rather than Excel for a sideliner-league number of hives, because I could use the same database not just for the beekeeping side of things but also the logistical and financial sides and everything can be cross-referenced. A great feature is the ability to create a less-confusing form to quickly enter data to the tables, and also the ability to create instant reports.
...but then, I'm perfectly okay with Hive Tracks. Love Hive Tracks.