JANUARY 2023 R&D UPDATE
With the new year well underway, our team at The Bee Corp is gearing up for another year of ambitious new growth as we continue to improve the capabilities of Verifli. Our software and data science teams have been cooking up powerful new features in response to overwhelming customer feedback. Here are some of the exciting new things we’ll be rolling out in 2023…
Thanks to a series of updates to our hive strength model, we’ve improved our accuracy on weak and dead hives. Without getting too much into the weeds, outliers are tricky for the Verifli hive strength model in part because they are less commonly found in real hives. Beekeepers simply don’t have very many colonies weaker than 3 frames that we can use for testing.
Our goal last year was to improve accuracy by gathering more test data on these outliers. With additional test data on weak and dead hives, we were able to confirm that our model performs just as accurately on these weak outliers.
Why it’s important: We’re always looking for new ways to improve the accuracy of our hive strength model.
Why it’s a challenge: Limited real world data on hives of this strength.
The ability to generate instant hive strength results is easily the most popular feature request we get from beekeepers. Called Verifli Now, this new feature produces hive strength results just seconds after users capture an image. For beekeepers tasked with sorting through thousands of hives to determine which are strong enough for pollination, Verifli Now helps them complete the job in far less time.
Why it’s important: Beekeepers need to rapidly assess thousands of hives, labeling each hive to ship for pollination as they work.
Why it’s a challenge: This involves bypassing our normal quality control flow, so results are only as good as the quality of images. Normally, our team checks images for QC before they’re analyzed to prevent erroneous values and mistake images from appearing on customer reports.
Cold storage grading
Storing hives in climate-controlled facilities during the winter months has grown in popularity among beekeepers. However, once they’re loaded in, the hives are locked down for the duration of their stay. Even if a beekeeper wanted to crack open a few boxes, the hives are stacked to the ceiling, making it impossible to check on the bees until weeks before almond pollination. We’re developing a new feature allowing Verifli users to grade hives that are locked away in cold storage facilities.
Why it’s important: Beekeepers need to assess colony strength while hives are locked in cold storage facilities.
Why it’s a challenge:
Not much room to capture images: Hives are stacked to the ceiling with only a few inches between each stack.
No light allowed: Light sources can aggravate the bees, so we can’t use our headlamps when capturing images. Normally, Verifli relies on well-lit images to automatically identify each hive and crop out the corresponding IR pixels.
Our R&D teams made incredible progress last year bringing some very lofty initiatives to fruition. We’ll continue to improve these new features as part of our focus on improving Verifli’s accuracy and increasing the value to our growers and beekeepers. If you’re as excited as we are about our initiatives, we’d love to chat about beta-testing these features in your operation.