Developed in association with the NFU, BBKA (British Beekeepers Association) and Croplife UK, BeeConnected is funded and administered by the VI (Voluntary Initiative) and currently connects more than 3000 beekeepers with nearly 2000 farmers.
How does it work?
When you're applying insecticide to a field, you can set-up a “spray event”. The BeeConnected system then searches for beekeepers with hives within a 5km distance of the field and sends them an alert message.
The beekeeper and farmer can also use the platform to communicate anonymously using the BeeMail internal messaging service.
Beekeepers cannot see the location of individual fields and likewise, farmers cannot see the location of individual hives.
‘An invaluable link’
The 2022/23 Farm Sprayer Operator Of The Year, Steve May, who is both a sprayer operator and beekeeper explains the benefits of the scheme: “BeeConnected gives me the best chance of warning local beekeepers that an insecticide may be applied and when it’s going to happen, allowing them to take any necessary action.
“It creates an invaluable link between local farmers and beekeepers.”
Steve is also the spray liaison officer in his local area and explained that, as he doesn’t have the phone numbers for many farmers or beekeepers due to GDPR rules, BeeConnected allows the two parties to come together without the unnecessary middleman.
“It’s much quicker and can give more precise information on crop protection products being used and the area they are being used in. The BeeMail service is particularly good as the beekeeper can ask questions and this allows dialogue to strike up, which can lead to better understanding on both sides.”
To register for BeeConnected or to find out more information, visit: BeeConnected.org.uk