Updated: Apr 2, 2020
Another pollination season is in the books! In our 2nd year delivering Verifli to almond growers, we introduced a few new things. We built new technology to streamline image capture and improve results reporting and we added manual steps to back up hive strength results and bolster our predictive modeling.
We built a new dashboard to display hive strength results and a mobile app to capture images. We also decided to throw in manual frame counts for our customers this season, something we don’t expect to do again. After all, a major goal of Verifli is to measure colony strength without opening the hive.
KEY SOFTWARE FEATURES
With the new app and dashboard, we eliminated several manual steps that created a bottleneck in processing time last season. Now, as soon as you snap a picture on the app, results begin to pop up on the verifli.com dashboard.
We also incorporated new features requested by our first-year customers. Users can tag hives with specific sites and beekeepers on the app, making it easy to compare hive strength between beekeepers and across different sites on the dashboard. An interactive mapping tool gives growers the ability to quickly identify areas of the orchard with low-strength bees.
Here’s a quick preview:
The main dashboard allows users to filter results by site, beekeeper and date. Visuals include a graph showing changes in hive strength during the season and charts displaying the distribution of hives and a comparison to average strength of all other growers' hives this season.
The Hive Map page offers a birds-eye view of hive strength across different sites. Zoomed out, users can use the marker colors to quickly determine if a site needs more bees. Red means the site's average strength is below 6 frames, orange means the average is between 6 and 12, green means the average is greater than 12.
Click a site marker on the Hive Map to get a detailed view of the hives at each site. Users can locate specific hive drops where low-strength hives are placed.
A key goal following the 2019 pollination season was to get Verifli into the hands of growers. We wanted customers to be able to grade hives on their own schedule, rather than waiting for us to make our way out. The Verifli mobile app made this goal a reality—until realized the accuracy of our hive strength model was not going to reach our goal for 2020.
For this season, we decided to manually inspect each hive to back up Verifli’s predicted hive strength results. It was a difficult decision, but ultimately we wanted nothing less than complete confidence in the results we deliver to customers.
Most growers agree that accuracy is the biggest gamble with buying in to Verifli. When we presented the idea of manually checking hives this season, we were pleased to find that our customers didn’t push back. They were still eager to experience our exciting new technology for analyzing pollination performance without any question as to the accuracy of the results.
SETTING OUR SIGHTS FOR 2021
Our approach to improving accuracy for 2021 is far more calculated. Rather than continuing to try the same data modeling methods over and over, we brought on 2 physicists who are working to approach the problem from the ground up. They’ve already discovered some solvable issues with our thermal data but we didn’t have enough time to fix them before this pollination season.
We still aim to get Verifli into the hands of growers. Though we may offer to have our team take images for a handful of growers next season, we want to build Verifli into a tool anyone can use to grade bees without opening any hives—with no doubt that results are accurate.
Big thanks to all who worked with us for another successful pollination season! Stay posted for more updates on our progress towards these goals throughout the year.
2020 BY THE NUMBERS
Here are a few stats from this season:
602 hours spent grading hives (+135% from 2019)
7 Bee Corp team members (+250%)
3 rental trucks (+200%)
7,319 miles driven (+79%)
1 truck towed out of mud (+infinity%)