The free BeeConnected app helps to ensure that bees and agriculture can co-exist and thrive. The application allows farmers to tell beekeepers in their area when they plan to use crop protection products (including pesticide applications and the planting of treated seed). Beekeepers who have registered their hives will receive a notification if they are within five kilometres of the planned activity.
Users enter basic information including their name, username and an email address and only the username appears to other users. Users then enter locations: Beekeepers enter the location of the bee yards; farmers and contractors enter fields and then record activities such as planting, and pest control applications relevant to beekeepers.
BeeConnected has a built-in messaging service so that users can co-ordinate or privately share information with other registered users within five kilometres. Users are also able to share broadcast messages that allow them to simultaneously contact all relevant registered users within five kilometres of their activity or hive locations.
Farmers and spray contractors can search the map on the app for the locations of nearby bee yards and beekeepers can explore an area to see farmer or crop protection activity. Beekeepers cannot see the location of other beekeepers’ hives and farmers and pesticide applicators cannot see the activities of other farmers and applicators.
Anonymity: If you are a beekeeper, farmers will be able to see where your registered hives are located but other beekeepers will not. If you are a farmer, beekeepers will be able to see the fields you have registered to apply a pesticide or plant a treated seed. Beyond that, other users will be able to see your username, but they will not be able to see private information, such as your name and email address, that you used to register. Exchanges between individuals are private.
The app will launch across Canada in 2017. To be successful, the app needs registered users — both farmers and beekeepers. Sign up at beeconnected.ca.
CropLife Canada partners with the Canadian Honey Council to bring the BeeConnected app to Canada.