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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bee Health Guru is the smart phone app that evaluates the sounds inside the hive, then offers possible problems that should be addressed. I happily tossed $25 into the GoFundMe last year, I like to contribute to things that might improve the state of beekeeping. I also buy mite biter queens to support that even though they are not a solution yet.

I got the app but have yet to use it, but I'm wondering if anyone else has used it and what they think of it.

Please don't turn this into a bashing thread, we had enough of that last year.

Lee
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Lee, I am pretty much in the same boat. Only time I used the app was for the initial test. Maybe starting this spring?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lee, I am pretty much in the same boat. Only time I used the app was for the initial test. Maybe starting this spring?
I'll be interested in your impressions of it, JW. I'm not sure I'll actually use it but if people chime in with positive remarks I may see how well my phone tolerates propolis. :D

Lee
 

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In one of the early emails from them, there was a recommendation for purchasing a remote microphone. Two different mics were suggested, neither was cheap. I may end up just shoving the phone in once the entrance reducers come out. Also would like to have the phone recording when I hit them with an OAV treatment from the ProVap. They get a little noisey about then and I am curious as to what the app says is the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I never open my entrances beyond 3/8" high, just widen them when I need to, so it would be a snug fit for my phone. My wife has an old IPhone that is slimmer that she would let me use but it still seems messy. It would be interesting to see what the app makes of the buzz when the vapor pours in. I guess I really should give it a go when I open entrances, who knows, I may find I like it. Nearly all my spring work is swarm prevention and I doubt it will help with that.
 

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I believe the app originally needed people to use, then upload the info (reading) along with notes on that hive. Example the app read 40% chance of being “queenless”, but I observed the queen, so in my notes I would say “queen observed”. The more people that used the app and uploaded info, the better, more refined the app became. It learned what it was hearing to refine the diagnostics of the app. There is a forum for this app, but I have looked recently and no one uses it. It is named Bee Health Guru. Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk, Entomologist, University of Montana developed it. He runs the Master Beekeeping Program there.
 

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I'll be interested in your impressions of it, JW. I'm not sure I'll actually use it but if people chime in with positive remarks I may see how well my phone tolerates propolis. :D

Lee
Lee maybe do a test with the phone in a thin ziplock bag, not sure if enough sound will get thru but be nice if you could bag the phone to avoid prpolizing the phone.
GG
 

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From Dr Bromenshenk on the Bee Health Guru Forum:
in SPRINGING INTO 2020, BEE HEALTH GURU APP STATUS
2 weeks ago
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:
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,
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.
We are delighted to know that beekeepers like to sing, are happy while they work, but it ruins the recordings.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Add Dead-Out to the Comments, and type of hive (e.g, standard ten frames, eight frames, top bar, plastic hive, etc.
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.
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:
Start following and using this forum. Tell us what you like and don't like about the app.
Report any problems or successes, share your experiences.
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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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the update, Cloverdale. It sounds like the app has a ways to go.
Lee
 

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Lee,

Thank you for supporting the Bee Health Guru. I've just sent out an update to our backers on Kickstarter. We've had a lot of people using the app and reporting back to us. We'd certainly love it if you could start using the app too.

It is ready for tuning and calibrating, and we'd love for you to be a part of that.
 
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