AUGUST 2022 R&D UPDATE

We’re constantly working to make Verifli more accurate, easier to use, and more affordable to adopt. We’re also dedicated to expanding the capabilities of our technology by adapting Verifli to new use-cases to meet the needs of our customers. This year, we’re especially focused on optimizing Verifli to align with a beekeeper’s workflow.


After we announced that our hive strength model had exceeded our accuracy target, we received a flurry of ideas from beekeepers for new Verifli use cases. As far as product reviewers go, beekeepers have a knack for outside-the-box thinking and identifying areas for improvement. The best feedback we get from beekeepers is often as simple as: “that’s neat, but can it do X, Y and Z?”


What’s new


We tasked our R&D team with completing three product requests that are most important to beekeepers:


“Does Verifli grade hives in over-winter cold storage units?”
“Can Verifli grade a truckload of hives before I unload them?”
“Can Verifli grade my bees if I don’t use standard Langstroth hive boxes?”

After months of investigation and testing, we reached these conclusions: Yes, Yes and Yes!


Each of these findings are key for improving the value of Verifli for beekeepers. Placing hives in climate-controlled storage during winter months is a relatively recent trend that has rapidly grown in popularity. The trouble is, once they’re moved in, opening the hives is out of the question. Beekeepers are unable to check on their hives until just before the hives need to head to California for almond pollination. With Verifli, beekeepers can check hives in cold storage all winter long, so there are no surprises when it's time to pack up and leave.


Assuming everything goes well in cold storage, the hives are immediately loaded onto flatbed trucks for the long journey to California for almond pollination. In order to prevent the bees from overheating or freezing, truckers skillfully navigate their way around inclement winter weather. When the trucks arrive in California, beekeepers need a quick way to check if the colonies are still strong after the trip. With Verifli, beekeepers can grade a load of hives as soon as they arrive, before the hives are unloaded off the truck.


Around the globe, there’s a huge variety in the types of equipment used by beekeepers. Whereas wooden Langstroth hives are practically universal in the US, hive equipment used by beekeepers abroad is more varied. Hive shapes and sizes (Layens and Dadant) vary just as much as the materials used to build them (plastic, polystyrene, etc.). To ensure that Verifli can accurately grade hives anywhere in the world, we adjusted our model to account for how each box type affects the hive’s thermal dynamics.


What’s next


Our next challenge is a big one, and it’s key to our success with beekeepers. We’ve always strived to deliver hive strength results within 48 hours of image capture. Our growers rave about our speedy report turnaround time. However, if you’re a beekeeper using Verifli to select which hives to ship for pollination, 48 hours is an eternity. The truck could be halfway to California by the time the results are ready.


Adapting Verifli to provide instant hive strength results is easier said than done, but we’re committed to figuring it out. Beekeepers need to work fast, and Verifli needs to work faster. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates on instant predictions.


Final thoughts


Verifli is getting better by the day as we build new features and adapt for new use cases. We’re eager to optimize the product for beekeepers, not only because that’s our mission, but because we want more comments asking, “that’s neat, but can it do X, Y and Z?”

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