BeeVS
Artificial intelligence helps to select Varroa tolerance trait

During autumn/summer 2018, the Austrian beekeeping federation Biene Österreich tested two recently developed systems for the automatic assessment of Varroa infestation in beehives. Precision and accuracy of the systems were measured and compared with the performance of skilled human operators. BeeVS, a portable scanner and Varroa Counter, a smartphone application, were tested according to the Guidelines of the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) for bioanalytical method validation and documented according to Good Field Practice guidelines by the OECD.

The smartphone application, run on devices with cameras of different quality (5MPx und 20 MPx resolution), showed no significant correlation between the true number of mites on sticky boards and the measured value. The application was not able to assess the true number of mites on sticky boards exposed for 5.2 days in the beehive.

In contrast, BeeVS tested under the same conditions, showed a very good correlation between the true number of mites on sticky boards and the measured value. The precision of this device was far superior to that of human operators and it performed slightly better in terms of accuracy. The average amount of time saved amounted to 2.7 minutes per sticky board. The device thus provides results that are at least as correct as those of human operators but does not suffer from the severe lack of repeatability, as is the case when sticky boards are counted by human operators.

In view of the planned digitalisation of the performance testing program by the Austrian breeding program, the employment of this tool would improve the assessment of the Varroa tolerance trait. [/av_textblock] [/av_one_full]

Queen directory online

The queen directory, a service provided by Biene Österreich for Austrian breeders and queen producers, has been online since 26.04.2018. Since the interface for the automated transfer of data from BeeData to the directory is not yet fully functional, your queens are temporarily entered manually.

Interested breeders, who participate in the Austrian breeding program or an equivalent program are kindly requested to contact Biene Österreich.

Breeders, queen producers and breeding organisations who want to be included in the respective directories are also requested to contact Biene Österreich. The declarations of consent for the publication of personal data can be found under Information > Downloads.

Queen Code – a crown for the queen

With the help of a surprisingly simple technical solution, individual queens will soon be labelled with a unique code.

In a project initiated by Eugen Aberer and supported by Biene Österreich, queen tags are currently developed, on which a tiny matrix code (‘queen code’), similar to a QR-code, is imprinted. QR codes are two-dimensional barcode we encounter every day on food packaging or advertising brochures.

With this queen code, which can be linked to the herdbook number of a queen, beekeepers may retrieve pedigree information and performance data of the queen using a smartphone with an Android operating system and a camera (resolution: 8 MPx, at lower resolutions, an additional macro lens is required).

By holding the camera over the tag, the queen code will be read by a specially designed software and the information on the queen will be retrieved via the internet. This tool will allow a better identification of queens in the breeding program, but also buyers will be able to trace the identity of the queen they have received.

BIOEqueen – a new App for breeders now available for iPhone

The Austrian beekeeper federation Biene Österreich provides all breeders and beekeepers with a smartphone application (both Android and IOS) for the planning of their queen rearing activities.

Available for Smartphones

BIOEqueen has been developed as an assistant for breeders and beekeepers to schedule all necessary steps for queen production, including a short explanation for each step. Several queen rearing methods are available, more methods will come with future updates and feedback from users is highly appreciated. Scheduled steps can be exported on your smartphone’s calendar and synchronised with other devices.

How to load the application

Go to the respective store (App Store for IOS, Google Play for Android) and download the app. Note that the application can also be used via the internet browser on your PC.