Friday, February 22, 2019

This week I had the opportunity to meet a couple of young entrepreneurs, Ellie Symes and Wyett Wells, who have spent a few years developing a very promising approach to quickly evaluating colony strength using infrared technology (IR). An image of a colony is taken with a small IR camera attached to a smartphone. The camera simultaneously takes a visible light picture. The visible light picture is used to correct for some of the variables such as box color, construction features, and ambient and reflected light. Their software then evaluates the image to reliably estimate the strength of the bee colony within.

Check out their web site for more details: The Bee Corp 

A page from their website with a good image is HERE

(Regrettably I did not get a picture of them at the ranch. Next time!)

Monday, February 18, 2019


Here is a little issue that may need to be dealt with between growers and processors.  Processors have started noting the percentage of the popular Monterey variety, that are received as doubles, with the idea that some day there may be a penalty if doubles exceed a yet-to-be-determined level. Monterey is also popular in some inshell markets.

Pictured here are seven Monterey nuts arranged roughly by size from large to small, left to right.

The two largest nuts on the left are doubles. The shells containing doubles are always larger than those containing singles. In the process of making inshell product, some meats are produced, usually from the larger nuts. This means that those meats would contain a very high percentage of doubles!  Some allowance for this will need to be made if a processor desires inshell meats.  Growers will not want to be penalized for doubles in this case.