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The Bee Health Guru: Helping Beekeepers Keep Healthy Bees. A smartphone app that listens to bees to tell you what is wrong with them!
653 backers pledged $28,286 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$28,286

653

Bee Health Guru:  Helping beekeepers keep healthy bees

For many, beekeeping is a labor of love.  And who doesn't love to keep their bees healthy?  

Traditionally, keeping your bees healthy mean suiting up, donning your gloves, getting your smoker fired up, smoking the bees to calm them down, cracking the lid of the box, using your bee tool to loosen the frames, lifting the frames out, and then examining your bees carefully.

What if your bees could be the guru and tell you whether or not they are healthy?  The Bee Health Guru app lets you do just that.

The Bee Health Guru is an Android and Apple iOS smartphone that our team of Montana bee researchers have been working on for almost a decade.  Our lead researchers Jerry and Colin have been working with bees for over 30 years each, and from that and working with thousands of beekeepers around the world they have always suspected that bees made different noises when they had different things wrong with them.  Using sophisticated research techniques and state of the art audio equipment that we've shipped to expert beekeepers around the world, our team has collected the specific sounds bees make when they are not well.  Then we coupled that with our specially developed artificial intelligence (AI) programming to bring you a smartphone app that takes just 30 seconds to listen to your bees and then uses our proprietary database of sounds and AI to tell you within seconds what, if anything, is wrong with your bees. 

Bee Health Guru - Press the big red button and place your phone in the hive entrance
Bee Health Guru - Press the big red button and place your phone in the hive entrance

After listening to your bees, the Bee Health Guru will tell you within seconds what, if anything, is wrong with your bees.  This hive has foul brood, which is particularly difficult for new beekeepers to identify.

Bee Health Guru smartphone app - foul brood found
Bee Health Guru smartphone app - foul brood found

To help beekeepers keep healthy bees, we've built information into the app to help you understand health issues with your bees.  This hive is reporting a slight issue with Varroa Mites.  Anyone who is not sure what that means can find out, right inside the app, with pictures included!

Bee Health Guru: Varroa Mite Help
Bee Health Guru: Varroa Mite Help
Bee Health Guru: Varroa Mite Photos
Bee Health Guru: Varroa Mite Photos

For those needing more help, or wanting to help other beekeepers, we've built access to an online beekeeping community right into the app!

Bee Health Guru online community
Bee Health Guru online community

Using the Bee Health Guru smartphone app is easy!  Just put on your beekeeping gloves, press the big red record button, and slide your phone into the hive entrance.

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The app will beep when the 30 second scan is over, and you just pull the phone back out of the hive, let our AI quickly do its work, and read the results.  Usually your phone will be covered with bees, so just brush them off carefully!

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Why do we need your help?

The money we raise from this Kickstarter will go to paying for a data analytics professional to help our team improve and update the Bee Health Guru AI algorithms to make the Bee Health Guru app better.

We are looking for your help to push this project across the finish line, and to help us improve the app!  We want YOU to be citizen scientists and help us improve the Bee Health Guru app.  100% of the money raised will go to making improvements to the app...improvements that beekeepers like you or your friends who are beekeepers tell us they want to see.  As citizen scientists, we are wanting our Bee Health Guru app users to use the app, and then tell us what they are seeing inside their hives.  The Bee Health Guru app has a built-in reporting function that will allow users to record what they are seeing, comparing it to what the Bee Health Guru app is hearing, and report all that back to us here at Bee Health Guru so we can make the app better!  

Your Bee Health Guru Team

Your Bee Health Guru team is made up of world class researchers and scientists.  Jerry Bromenshenk, our lead researcher, has over 30 years as a professor of biology at the University of Montana, and teaches the only online Master Beekeeping Program, offered for University Level Academic Credit, in North America, with students from every state, every province, and 15 other countries:  University of Montana Online Beekeeping Course

The team was featured on the front page of the New York Times as a result of a paper published in the international journal PLoS One where, with a team of researchers from the Army, they showed a connection between the iridovirus and microspordian and colony collapse disorder (more commonly called CCD).    Jerry and Colin Henderson are shown in the picture below.

Bee Health Guru Team featured in the New York Times
Bee Health Guru Team featured in the New York Times

That PLoS One paper is here,  https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0013181.

The Bee Health Guru team are part of the team of researchers in this PLoS One journal article on a link between iridovirus and microsporidian and CCD
The Bee Health Guru team are part of the team of researchers in this PLoS One journal article on a link between iridovirus and microsporidian and CCD

The Bee Health Guru app was recently featured in The Economist: " new app listens to the problems of bees".  You can read the full article here:  https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2018/03/28/a-new-app-listens-to-the-problems-of-bees

The Economist: A new app listens to the problems of bees
The Economist: A new app listens to the problems of bees

Our developer who put together the beautiful interface and programmed the smartphone app is Geoff Pepos,  with irisdigiarts.com 

Our programmer who developed the Artificial Intelligence software to be able to match the sounds of bees captured by the Bee Health Guru app at the hive entrance to our proprietary database of sounds is Bob Seccomb.

Recently Bee Culture Magazine featured the Bee Health Guru app, and the editor says "Editor’s Note: We here at Bee Culture have been reading The Economist for decades, and have found it to be, in our opinion, the most unbiased, factual, and best research-oriented global news magazine on the planet. That they find this research project worthy of note is, again in our opinion, a very loud voice of support for this project. "

The entire Bee Culture Magazine article is here:   https://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-a-new-app-listens-to-the-problems-of-bees-matching-honey-bee-noises-to-their-ailments/ 

The Bee Health Guru team is featured in an article in Bee Culture magazine
The Bee Health Guru team is featured in an article in Bee Culture magazine

Beekeeping Today very recently recorded a podcast from Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk and Dr. David Firth, two of the Bee Health Guru team about the app.

That podcast can be listened to here:   http://beekeepingtodaypodcast.com/dr-jerry-bromenshenkdr-david-firth-bee-health-guru-uom-master-beekeeper-program-026?fbclid=IwAR1O3yQ6wwUIJdmGCgbI5uFBzrO41BOAl2QDd0nTjBi7xONCTMwY8OHLFkI 

The Bee Health Guru is discussed on the Beekeeping Today podcast
The Bee Health Guru is discussed on the Beekeeping Today podcast

The Bee Health Guru app has also been covered on television.  

The Bee Health Guru app on television
The Bee Health Guru app on television

The Bee Health Guru was recently featured in the American Bee Journal - May 2019 issue

The Bee Health Guru in the American Journal of Beekeeping
The Bee Health Guru in the American Journal of Beekeeping

Risks and challenges

Any new smartphone app has issues. For ours, we think the main issue is with the different types of phones that will be used. Part of our goal with this Kickstarter is to better understand any issues arising from different types of phones.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Help keep bees healthy

    Whether or not you're a beekeeper, you can help us keep bees healthy by pledging $10 or more to help us finish the Bee Health Guru app. As a citizen scientist, we will include your name (or not, if you prefer) in a special "Supporters" section of our Bee Health Guru online community. 100% of pledges go towards making the Bee Health Guru better at detecting bee health issues.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    Early-release version of Bee Health Guru

    We have put the Bee Health Guru smartphone app through extensive in-field trials, but there is nothing better than getting feedback from actual beekeepers. If you are a beekeeper, or you have a friend or family-member who is a beekeeper, get an early-release version Android or Apple iOS version of the app.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    Healthy Bees Member

    Our Healthy Bees Members will get an early-release Android or Apple iOS version of the app and be recognized as a supporter of healthy bees in our Bee Health Guru forum with a special members badge.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Healthy Bees Founder

    Our Founder Member level shows how important bee health is to you. For this level of support we will recognize you by name (or not, if you'd prefer) in the Information section of the app. We will also give you Health Bees Member status in our Bee Health Guru forum, with a badge to go with it, and, of course, an early-release version of both the Android and Apple iOS versions of the Bee Health Guru app.

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Funding period

- (30 days)