Yes, I am going to get into discussing and reviewing, per a grade scale, actual tech items used in beekeeping.  Most of them are tech items from other, general areas that have been re-purposed to meet beekeepers needs.  Some actually have been designed and produced  specifically for beekeepers purposes.  Take a look at the list here for an idea of what types of tech that I will be reviewing.

By posting a grade scale now, before I actually get to reviewing the items, it helps me to write the reviews and test the items with that grade scale in mind.  Sort of a guide for testing as well as reviewing.

I will also, when applicable, try to link to a product sales page to let readers see reviews that people who already purchased the items gave the seller.  Here’s an example of what I am referring to.

Grade Scale Categories

Usability – How easy is it to use?  Are things easy to figure out or is there training/learning curve to figure out how to use it?

  • A = Easy to use/figure out .  Pretty obvious.
  • B = Not too hard to figure out, simple instructions help.
  • C = Not exactly hard to figure out, but clear instructions are needed.
  • D = A bit difficult to figure out, instructions leave a bit to be desired.
  • F = Difficult to figure out how to use it, Instructions are not available or easy to follow.

Appearance – Does it look like it should or as we expect it too?

  • A = Nice, clean, professional
  • B =  Attractive, relatively cleaned up, decent.
  • C = Not bad.  Could look better but could look a lot worse.
  • D = Looks as if it were hastily put together, not much care put into it’s appearance.
  • F = Looks like something a deranged 5 year old might have thrown together.  Completely unprofessional

Effectiveness – How well does it meet the need?  Does it do what it is supposed to do?  Does it do it well?

  • A = It does exactly as it says it will do, no question.
  • B =  It gets most of it right, just a couple things needed to make it better.
  • C = It’s OK.  does a decent enough job for what it is.
  • D = Eh, not exactly what we bargained for.  There’s more that could be better than could be worse.
  • F = It barely accomplishes it’s purpose, why bother having it at all?

Cost/Value –  Does the price match up to it’s value?

  • A – By Golly, This is a great value, I’ll likely buy more than one at that price!
  • B – The cost is just right.  Almost surprised it doesn’t cost more.
  • C = Seems to be a fair, reasonable price
  • D = I’ve seen better items with lower prices.  If I had to pick one up in a hurry, I guess it wouldn’t kill me.
  • F = Overpriced to the point that even if it scored high everywhere else, I still can’t justify the price.  I can build one cheaper than this.

Final Grade

What I expect to do is to describe each item reviewed as it relates to each above category and assign it a grade for each.  After that, I will then assign it a Final Grade based on the average in the grade scale.  I will also toss in my own, personal and very subjective opinion on it as well.  The two may not always agree, but at least you will see the objective, fact based info vs my personal opinion.  What kicks for me may not do much for you and vice versa.

Perhaps the grade scale used here will help you get an idea on how these items might work for you.  You are also welcome to make suggestions in the comments section of this article as to the grade scale I have set forth.

If you sell or produce beekeeping related tech and would like to have it reviewed here, please feel free to contact me through the, “Request A Review” page.

About the author

Tony Sandoval

Beekeepers in the 21st century use technology in ways most people never think of. I will take you into sunlit valleys where you can see the sunshine through a browser, inspect hives with portable devices and harvest products of the hive using all manner of technological devices you might have not thought of before.

I am a Master Beekeeper and President of the Omaha Bee Club, I am a published author in Bee Culture magazine (a nationally published beekeeping magazine), and a Linux junkie who plays with servers and wireless networking for scientific experimentation in bee science projects.

Let's take a look at tech through the eyes of a scientific apiculturist, shall we?


  • I’m interested to see how this works out. To me, assigning the “grades” is, in and of itself, subjective.

    Also, some catagories I would weigh more heavily on some type of tech tools. For instance, if I was evaluating a honey label printer the effectiveness (like the quality of printing) would probably be much more important to me than appearance. Using a weighted average might change the overall grade significantly.

    Of course, some of us might complain that the assigned weights is (again) subjective.

    Oh, what the hell, do your best!