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  • Writer's pictureSimon Mildren

Case Study: Tracking Queen Bee packages in the mail

Question: Can we bring confidence to beekeepers and the industry that their hives are safe and their livelihoods can be protected from thieves ?

Is Beehive Theft a real problem in Australia?

Hive theft has been a continual problem for beekeepers for many years and is on the increase across Australia.

When a hive is stolen the beekeeper has two issues:

  • Cost recovery for the equipment and replacement cost of the bees

  • Reduction of business productivity and profitability through loss of honey and needing to re-establish a bee colony inside the hive.

With the production of high value honey becoming more profitable, hive theft is on the rise.

Can we track beehives across Australia?

During 2021 we tested the coverage of our new model Hive Guardian and at the same time tested the suitability for tracking the shipment of queen bees across Australia. To say that it worked would be an understatement. The testing in conjunction with the AQBBA was extremely successful.

We sent packages across six states of Australia and they travelled more than 35,000km. The whole time we were able to monitor the temperature of the packages to understand the possible impacts of high or low temperature during transit. We learnt that Australia post was more reliable and reasonable than expected. Good news for queen bee breeders and beekeepers.

Image 1: Hive Guardian beehive tracker with healthy queen bees arriving via Australia Post, ready for installing in a beehive.

It was great to see queen breeders gain confidence back after a difficult time during the last few years with Australia Post. The queen breeders would watch the high value packages move through across Australia on the way to their destination and keep the beekeeper updated on progress and expected date and time of arrival.

The Australian Queen Bee Breeders Association learnt a lot whilst working with the HiveKeepers team. It meant we could keep a close eye on the whereabouts and the wellbeing of our queen bees through Australia Post using the Hive Guardian trackers.
Richard Simms - President of the Australian Queen Bee Breeders Association
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