Romania is one of the most important honey exporters in the EU. Beekeeping has been considered a traditional practice in Romania for a long time, having the potential to contribute significantly to the economic development of rural areas, both in terms of honey production, as well as other bee products.
However, according to studies conducted by Fileomera – the largest honey producer in Romania – the average price for Romanian honey is 3.79 Euro/ kg, below the average price in the European Union.
An analysis of the Romanian honey market and European trends done by Fileomera, pointed toward the need to start the “HNPD – Honey New Product Development” project. Its’ objective is to increase the productivity of Romanian apiaries and the honey price per kg exported from Romania, by using modern hive monitoring technologies such as sensors and a smartphone application. As a local tech provider and consultant, Apiary Book has been actively involved, during the past months, in implementing an important part of the project.
For this particular project, we’re providing a complete solution that incorporates an apiary management software (our Apiary Book app) and a hardware system with sensors for collecting specific data about the beehives (Apiary Sense). A crucial step in the project has been installing our technology into the hives of 6 beekeepers from all over the country. To meet the team and learn about their journey into the Romanian countryside, keep reading.
A small team of two drove all the way from Bucharest to Dolj and Teleorman, Galați and Voroneț. We paid visits to 6 individual beekeepers and installed tech in their apiaries and on their phones; taught them how to use it, talked about the purpose it served, and how it should help them and other beekeepers in the future.
The Apiary Sense system has hive monitoring sensors designed to take into account vital hive data: temperature, humidity, hives’ weight, the amount of honey collected, and to provide information about the status of bee families.
The information collected with our Apiary Book app and Apiary Sense hive monitoring solution is analyzed to extract significant data for beekeepers. By monitoring their bees with access to historical data, current conditions and best beekeeping practices, beekeepers can ultimately make better-informed decisions that yield bigger honey harvests.
In Dolj, we visited 2 professional beekeepers, Lucian Ciochindel and Mugurel Tufiș, who own over 200 hives. We continued our journey from Dolj to Teleorman, where we met another professional beekeeper, Ioan Tănase.
They all consider beekeeping as an important tradition in their lives and were very keen on implementing our solution. Their hope was that it would increase their apiaries’ productivity and help them monitor the health of the bees much easier.
Apiary Sense comes with a hive scale and sensors which we set in place in each apiary. The scale was mounted under the hive and the sensors were set up inside the hive.
On our second day, we headed to Galați to pay visits to another 2 professional beekeepers, Lucian Maier and Ionică Mihoci, who were very eager to discover how our technology works. Passionate and dedicated to their over 150 hives, they quickly understood how important it is adding our innovative technologies to their beekeeping activities.
Our last destination was the beautiful village of Voroneț, in Suceava. There, we met Ioan Belei, a professional beekeeper who owns over 150 hives. We set up the scale and sensor under the hive and inside the hive so he can find solutions to offer his bees the optimal conditions to prosper.
He wanted to integrate our system in the apiaries knowing that the growth of his apiaries’ productivity depends on constant monitoring and real time data analysis.
We collaborated with professional beekeepers, owners of an impressive number of hives. All of them were open to understanding the benefits of integrating modern technologies into their traditional activities. As a matter of fact, having professionals interested in our technologies brings a positive light to the necessity of adopting hive monitoring tools by other beekeepers. The step towards improving the health of bee families is directly related to the productivity of the agricultural sector.
They are aware that measurability is a key point for managing their hives’ health and a necessity for increasing honey production.
To take the best decisions at the best moments in time, beekeepers need access to real-time data analysis, especially now that meteorological conditions are constantly changing and are less predictable than 10 years ago. As a result, our technologies, Apiary Sense and Apiary Book, have been welcomed as necessary tools by beekeepers to use in their apiaries. Thus, monitoring their bees has never been easier. Therefore, keeping an eye on their health will lead to obtaining better results in honey production with superior quality.