You can manage the traceability system of modern beekeeping managing bee farms, also creating geolocated warnings to control the Asian hornet or Vespa velutina
Source: Descripción Android / Image: Trapping program for Asian hornet in Basque Country. © Judit Urquijo CC BY 2.0
Price: free (in-app purchases)
Language: Spanish / English / French / Portuguese / Galician
Runs offline: no
Last update: Android 09/04/2017 (v. 188.8.131.52)
Website of the developer: Cocodrilo Mobile Apps
Vespa Velutina is an application designed for the management of beehives and beekeeping farms which includes as functionality a system of warnings for the location and tracking of specimens or nests of Asian hornet (its scientific name is Vespa velutina. Not to be confused with the Asian giant hornet – Vespa mandarinia – and its subspecies Japanese giant hornet – Vespa mandarinia japonica – or the European hornet – Vespa crabro). This invasive species of wasp is spreading rapidly throughout Europe, endangering the continuity of bee colonies, whom it attacks and kill.
The use of the application requires a user account, being also possible to sign up through Facebook.
When you start the application, a central menu is loaded. The displayed options also are accessible from another side menu and from the quick access icons at the top. These functionality are as follows:
- Ads, section to record warnings on the presence of Asian wasp nests or scattered specimens. The app also adds the possibility to insert sightings of Aethina tumida beetles, another invasive species detrimental to honey bees (Apis mellifera). This tab also includes a test that allows you to correctly identify Vespa velutina from Vespa crabro. Notifications can be established by sending a quick alert, which includes a form with a series of minimum fields, or a complete warning, through which you can indicate, for example, if the alert is pending or has already finished. These threats may also be notified to the emergency services, which will carry out the nest removal.
- Import beehives, option that allows to assign beehives to the previously created settlements. To facilitate the data import, you can scan the barcodes or QR codes, entering the data manually or importing an Excel spreadsheet whose template you can download from the app itself.
- Geolocation, with a map in which you can see the different warnings of presence of Asian hornet, nests and beetles, in addition to your own settlements to which to assign beehives. Besides the alerts created by the users themselves, the app includes news from other sources such as Twitter.
- Beekeeper card, where the user’s data and the register of their activities are stored.
- Inspections, section in which the data of the different inspections carried out on beehives are recorded.
- Settlements, option in which you enter the data of the area in which the hives are located.
- Beehives, form in which to insert or edit data of existing or new beehives.
- Displacement, option to register the movements of beehives.
- Harvests, where the data of the honey harvests are recorded.
- Income/expenses, section where you can keep an invoices register.
- ToDo list, where you can include reminders with tasks to perform.
- Notes, to include observations.
- Link, payment option that allows you, as a premium user, to access other agricultural management modules created by the same developer.
- Collaborators, professional beekeepers who provide their knowledge and establishments that support the development of the application.
- Export data, to analyze the information with other applications or computer programs.
From the side menu, besides the above options, you can access the video tutorials of the application, the help or the weather forecast.
Vespa velutina app (in Spanish)
Images: screenshots 25/04/2017. ©Cocodrilo Mobile Apps
It is believed that the first Asian hornets arrived to the port of Bordeaux in a container from China in 2004. Since that year, this invasive species has been spreading its territory through many European countries, causing serious damages in the bee farms of France, Spain or Portugal. Last year the first Asian hornet specimens were detected in the UK.
The Vespa Velutina app contributes to the task of curbing the spread of this insect allowing to help through citizen science in finding nests or scattered specimens, also including clues on how to identify the Asian hornet. Also, the application allows to ensure the traceability in beekeeping farms. Although in general terms it is a useful application, it still has room for improvement, especially in the design part. In this regard, it might be useful to distinguish more clearly the beehive management part from the warnings section, with a striking call to action to facilitate the record of warnings. The inclusion of two virtually identical menus in addition to quick access icons, as well as the need to login by entering the email and password every time you enter the app (users who sign up via Facebook do not have this problem), can generate a bad user experience using the app. It would also be interesting to include in the app a small explanation about why the inclusion of the beetle Aethina tumida as object of study.