Beetight is copyright and used here exclusively for educational purposes.
Hive tracking and record keeping, online and on mobile.
This is my review of the Beetight App, it is here for educational purposes only and any references to the software, it's name, the company, etc are for purely educational reasons.
What does the developer say about his own app?
"Beetight is a free web application for beekeepers and is the best way to manage your hives and track them online or on your phone. You'll wonder how you ever survived with the old notebooks and sprin-appets! All hive types are supported, including Langstroth, WBC, Beehaus, National, Warre, Top bar hives." ---- Beetight
What do I say about Beetight App for Android?
- In the Google Play store, it has a user rating of 3.6/5.0 (not great)
- It's not really free. It requires in-app purchases or a yearly fee. The free version only allows you to manage 6 hives. I say "manage" loosely. Read my review to find out why.
- It runs on either Android or Ios
- It is feature packed - Only applies to the Pro Version.
Let's talk about some of the features of Beetight so you can decide if it might be a good fit for you. The pro version has many features and is likely a perfect fit for just about anyone who wants to track their hives, from small hobbyists to large commercial operations, if you don't mind paying for the Pro version.
Unless you pay the pro subscription price, this app is pretty much useless. You can't even add apiaries or hives to it from your phone, that has to be done on their website. This doesn't make much sense to me. If I am at an out-yard and am doing splits half the day, I need to be able to add those hives then, along with the notes about the split. This is not possible with this app. I would have had to have created the "hives" ( you know the splits I didn't know I had to make till I got there) for this apiary before I ever went to it. Sure I can visit their website on my phone's browser to add the hives, but doesn't that defeat the purpose of having an app? Also, what if I have no internet access at the yard? I'll have to make notes on paper, or worse, try to remember everything until I get home and go to their website and create the hives, then refresh them on my phone and start taking notes (which by the way you can't do on the free version).
The free version only allows you to do one thing, and that is to take photographs of your hives.
With a fresh install and a "free" account, you will find four icons on the app menu bar. The four menu items you have in the app on your phone, are:
Hives - this will be empty though and requires you to log in to their website to add them, so they show up on the phone.
Inspections - This button is non-functional until you sign up for the $15 per year subscription fee.
Photos - This allows you to take photos and attach them to the hives in your hives list.
Settings - This button gives you access to the list of items you want the app to use. The list is extensive, but again unless you are paying the Pro subscription fee, you cannot access any of the items on the list.
So the first thing you must do after install is go to their website and add an "Apiary" and a "Hive". This part of the website has Geo Locating so it will add the hive to your current location, which since this can only be done from your PC, will be your home. You will need to use Google Maps to locate your apiary if it is somewhere else, then save it's location once you get the latitude and longitude of the apiary you wish to add.
Once an apiary is created, then you can create a hive and attach it to the apiary. When you create the hive on their website, you will be able to save some information about it (using the website, not the app), such as:
- Hive Type - Langstroth, Warre, etc.
- Hive Unique ID #
- A short URL for that hive
- When the current queen was installed
- When the hive was established
- Which Apiary it is located in
- How many supers are on it
- Where the colony came from - Nuc, Split, Etc.
- It's parent colony if one exists
- It's child colonies if any exist.
Once all of this is put in on their website, you can refresh your phone app view and it will show up. From this point you will be able to use the phone app "photo" tool to attach images to that hive from your phone.
That is the extent of the functionality of the free version of this app. The "Inspection" menu item in the app is not functional until you become a paid user. So if you are looking for a free app to take photos of your hives, then the free version of this app is for you!
What if i become a Pro Member at $15.00 per year?
This does two things:
- Unlocks up to 1000 Hives
- Unlocks the "Inspection" menu item in the app.
Once you unlock the "Inspection" menu item, you will be able to enter in information about your hives which you have discovered while doing your inspections. Though remeber, you'll need to add all of those hives using their website, you still can't do it from the app.
The Inspection Fields list of "trackable" and "editable" information is as follows:
- Queen Seen
- Eggs Seen
- Laying pattern
- queen cells
- excessive drone cells
- Varroa Drop
- Orientation Flights
- Pollen Arriving
- Foraging Bees
- Traffic Per Minute
- Bees on Ground
- Comb Building
- Young Larvae
- Frames of Sealed Brood
- Frames of Open Brood
- Frames of Pollen
- Frames of Honey
- Supersedure Cells
- Swarm Cells
- Weather Conditions
- Barometric Pressure
All of these items can be toggled "On" or "Off" so you only see and track the information you think is useful to you.
It should be noted that full functionality may or may not be available using their website, but that defeats the purpose of this app and my review. I am reviewing what I can do with the app, not a website once I get home. Without paying, none of the information including inspections can be viewed or edited on your phone while in the field.
I hate apps which call themselves "free" but really are not. The free version of this app does nothing more than give you a way to take photos and attach them to specific hives with your phone. The pro version unlocks the apps actual "functionality".
My advice for the developer? Unlock the full features of the app for all users, and lock it to 4 hives. Need more hives? Then upgrade to pro version. If you do this, your rating in the Google Play store will skyrocket, which will cause more downloads, which will increase revenue.
Better yet, make the access to pro features "tiered".
3-10 hives = $0.50 per month / paid annualy
11-25 hives = $0.75 per month paid annualy
26-100 hives = $1.00 per month paid annualy
101-1000 hives $2.00 per month paid annualy
Who am I to tell the developer how to best run his business model, but it sure would be better than how it is now. Most of the negative reviews on Google Play store are for "false advertising", telling users it's "free" when the "free" version does no hive management at all, it only takes photographs.
For those interested in this app, you can join the site here: Beetight