I am a different kind of writer for a tech oriented place like TechDissected. I am a beekeeper. No, I’m not a beekeeper just as a hobby, as in spending a couple hours a week involved in it. As a matter of fact, I consider myself a scientific beekeeper and one of the people involved in implementing bee tech.
I am a full blown, bees come first, beekeeper. I have a local business called the South Omaha Honey Company where I sell honey, beeswax and propolis products from the hives I manage. I also raise locally adapted and selected bees to sell to other beekeepers.
In the course of my beekeeping, I have to use technology to accomplish many tasks. Some of them are common tech like web apps, web sites, smart phones, tablets and such. There is also the technology that beekeepers have to invent and improvise ourselves. We are often unable to use what is commonly available because we exist so far out of the mainstream for most developers.
Bee tech is the specialized equipment and devices to do everything from measure the level of moisture in honey to detect and wirelessly transmit the temperature inside a bee hive to a website. We use heat sensing devices to locate where bee nests are inside the walls of a house and all manner of on-the-spot inventions to prevent and remove a variety of invasive pests from bee hives.
Oh yes, many beekeepers in the 21st century are increasingly tech savvy out of sheer necessity to combat the increasing environmental stresses on our bees. Improving our bee tech is critical in many cases for us to keep our bees healthy.
As just one beekeeper, who also happens to be a Master Beekeeper and President of the Omaha Bee Club in Omaha, NE I am responsible for running three websites related to my business, the bee club and educating other beekeepers in conservation methods and practices. I also manage professional library management software hosted on my web hosting account to keep track of bee club members who check out books, magazines tools and equipment related to beekeeping. Add to that the multiple and varied social media pages on Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn that I manage for both the bee club and my business and you have one very bee tech dependent beekeeper. One who relies on everything from smartphones and wifi hotspots, web based apps and hosting services just to communicate with other beekeepers. This doesn’t even take into account the actual devices and software I use to make my honey and products available in the marketplace.
It helps that I also happen to be a certified network technician and admin. I had to teach myself Linux servers and networking way back in the mid nineties just to keep up. I cut my teeth on Novell NetWare 4 soon followed by NetWare 5. That seemed to go out of style in no time flat with the advent of Windows Server. I started with RedHat 5, and have played with what feels like every distro out there ever since. (I must admit to being partial to Debian, CentOS, PCLOS and openSuse myself. I have to give Slackware grudging props mostly due to my brother from another mother, V.T. Eric Layton a notable curmudgeon from Scot’s NewsletterForums.)
I am a bee guy now that just happens to also be a Linux geek. I guess that makes me a beek now, doesn’t it? Bee tech is one of the areas I like to focus on and educate people about. I hope you’ll follow along as I wander through the hives and take a reading or two, snap a shot of a QR label and make sure my honey has the exact moisture level to bee good enough for you to eat.