What is Bee Tech News?
I have been writing articles here on TechDissected about bee tech news. I have been asked a number of times by people who have been kind enough to read my posts, “Why do you want to talk about bee tech news on a tech site?” To me the answer is plain. It is an opportunity to show not only what the tech is but how is it used in “real life”. Bee tech news is really almost an entirely new area of tech reporting for a community of hobbyists and professionals that fulfill a need everyone else needs but doesn’t really pay much attention to.
Technology in general exists to help us “do” the things we need or want to do in life. Basic technology could be seen as simple as rubbing two sticks together to make a fire. The sticks are the tools we use to make the fire. A leap in technology for making fires could be seen as using the sun and a lens to start a fire. Not nearly as physically tiring and very quick to start a fire. You get the idea. Bee technology is a sub-genre of technology of its own and a consumer of other genres of technology as well. Devices such as smart phones, pads, coding and identification tools, heat sensing tools, are types of technology found in this website that are used for specific purposes by beekeepers. If you see it on TechDissected, it’s almost certain that beekeepers somewhere have used it in their day to day beekeeping.
We tend to compartmentalize ideas and the language we use to describe it. In current times when most people hear the word “technology” they make an automatic association to electronics and computing. Why is that? For most people technology has been iconified in the computer and communications devices rapid advancement in a relatively short time. Bee tech news though is practically invisible to the general public. Unless of course the mass media has absolutely nothing else to talk about. Even more if it has figured out how to sensationalize the information or distort it so that it becomes almost something else.
Technology is a broader concept that encompasses so much more than electronics. Beekeeping is one of the oldest and most continuous agricultural and/or animal husbandry oriented activities in human history. Beekeeping is related to many of human society’s “firsts”. Honey is one of the first sweeteners used in baking and on the table. Honey, propolis and bee venom have been used in medicine for thousands of years. They are used to treat numerous illnesses and injuries successfully all around the world. Honey bee pollination of crops has been used everywhere to increase agricultural production. Ever since the ancient Egyptians kept bees on barges going up and down the Nile. Mead, a honey beer or wine, is one of the earliest beverages made in great variety across a number of cultures.
Most of those things likely would not have been possible if not for the practice of beekeeping. Constantly improving on the tools and methods used to practice it more effectively and efficiently. In other words, bee tech has been one of the world’s earliest and most constantly advancing areas of technology in human history. It’s interesting to note that most of that technological advancement has happened outside the public spotlight for most of that time. Mostly because most non beekeepers are too afraid of bees to want to pay attention. Even beekeepers access to bee tech news is generally confined to ads for products in mail order catalogs and now, websites for beekeeping products businesses. The two major national print magazines are starting to publish more articles directly related to bee tech news but still tend to focus mostly on the biology and scientific research being done.
The technology of beekeeping continues to advance in the way that bee hives are built and used. It is exhibited in the specific tools used to manage the bee hives and to capture and raise bees. Bee technology is also seen in how we transport bees for pollination. Going from being carried on river barges to horse pulled wagons to being loaded on tractor-trailers and speeding down the highways.
So when my friends ask me how can I see talking about bee tech news in a “regular” tech magazine I reply by asking how anyone could not. Beekeeping has and will continue to play a role in the advancement and use of other technologies. Technologies such as electronics, communications, transportation, tool and die making. In various fields such as agriculture, ranching and animal husbandry. Think of medical industries, data collection and scientific study. even fields such as news and information, education and many more areas that most people give no thought to whatsoever. Even the way trees and plants that produce fruits and nuts are being bred is very high tech and has a direct relationship to beekeeping. Here’s more on how almond trees are being changed because of the fears about declining bee populations.
I like to tell people that bee tech is important to the food you eat. From the obvious Honey Nut Cheerios, to the not so obvious, blueberry pie, hamburgers and bacon. Yes, you read it right, bacon. Beekeeping is very important to raising certain crops such as buckwheat and clover, etc… Crops heavily depended on by ranchers and hog producers to raise and fatten milk cows and cattle bound for the packing house. To feed pigs and hogs from which bacon and pork-chops and all those other things people like to eat come from. If beekeeping takes a dive, all of those crops are suddenly far fewer and more expensive. Factories close down and jobs will be lost. Variety in food choices will be less and even unavailable. Innovation and advances in technology slows and stops in many areas due to a lack of need or demand.
All of the above concerns are technology related. From the tools used to do the work to the devices created and improved upon to make those products and jobs more effective and efficient. Take for example these nucleus or starter bee hives made entirely out of plastic to facilitate raising queens and starting new bee colonies. Bee tech news reporting in avenue such as this can help to bring changes and advances in beekeeping technology to more beekeepers as well as to people in professions and industries that have direct and indirect relationships to beekeeping.
Think of these posts on bee tech news as similar sort of reporting such as most newspapers and news shows still report on ag issues and commodities. While the majority of people never really think of these things daily, there is a group of people whose lives and businesses depend on reporting and being informed on those specific topics. I see myself as that reporter for beekeepers in the 21st century who need every bit of information on bee tech news they can get on how to use advances in technology specific to beekeeping to keep themselves going forward.