I am a volunteer for Hughenden Manor where I began solely as a beekeeper on an entirely volunteer run bee project and became a web editor and newsletter editor.
We have a separate blog about the project on WordPress which we call Hughenden Buzz and we have been experimenting with a market leader, the Arnia Hive monitoring blog entry equipment. We have been very pleased with it and with the support from Arnia who have been enormously helpful and also who are so knowledgeable about beekeeping so the combination of their expertise has been invaluable. I’d love similar equipment for my own hives but it is way outside my budget.
I am not sure how many beekeepers have experience about the concept of crowdfunding, as many beekeepers I know prefer to be outside with tehir bees rather than indoors playing with technology. I’ve dabbled in things before, as has my husband. Typically, small groups have projects for which they need some funding and they describe their project and invite people to give money (which will be returned if their minimum amount is not reached). This can be from very small amounts to larger ones. Quite often early supporters then receive an extra perk and large sum supporters may have some quite exceptional and rare rewards. For example, some films have been funded this way and large scale supporters can choose to have a very minor role in the film or meet the famous actors in person.
When I heard about a project based on hive monitoring equipment, and unobtrusive strip which would communicate with an iphone through the excellent Honey Bee Suite blog
I sponsored them with a fairly modest sum (less than £30) for which the perk for the first investors was a free broodminder device. It seemed a bargain and as they reached higher totals they sent updates to investors and then recently, news they were shipping my broodminder. There is a small snag. let us call it a snagette. They were only shipping to the US. As my daughter and family recently emigrated, I’d given their address, and the device is now at their home. I’ll probably collect it when I go and visit. I’ll need to check it will work for me over here – if not I’ll have to find a Wisconsin beekeeper who’d like to use it. It will still be interesting to follow even if it isn’t in one of my hives. The original Indiegogo appeal can be found here.
Here is more information about Arnia and Indiegogo. I’ll add more when I know how the item works. Which may take me several months into next year. Or check out the Honey Bee suite for Rusty’s updates.