A beekeeping robot, a beekeeping electro-mechanical assistant, or a connected apiary ?
If you do not know the world of beekeeping, you will be surprised to discover how this primary activity area is a concentrate of all ages, from all origins, which blends ancestral traditions with resolutely contemporary concepts.
I do not know of any other area in which you can quote an 80-year-old country beekeeper who knows only what his own grandfather has taught him and next to him a 20-year-old city-dweller convinced that our fate is close linked to that of bees, between know-how, conviction, craft and flavor!
And let's talk about those bees that are born and die at work without relapse, only following the instructions that evolution has left them over the last millennia (bees have existed for almost 100 million years: https: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abeille).
I have only plunged into beekeeping for a few years but I am still amazed by the richness of this world.
The proof is of these lines, tired of making regular visits to my micro apiary, here comes the idea of being assisted by a robot. I know some people in the apiary-school who would be angry to imagine such a thing, but I want to clarify, the robot will not do my job ... it will help me and will make the unpleasant spots that sometimes I go backwards to the apiary.
In short, the idea is there, surely already imagined by others, but it is not the subject.
The purpose of this post is to know if this robot will be a beekeeping robot, a beekeeping electro-mechanical assistant, or a connected apiary ?
The common point? the association of 2 words that everything seems to oppose and yet by reflecting it is an obvious branch of technological evolution, towards a mastery of the biological fundamentals of our planet, I speak obviously of the words "beekeeping" and "robotics" .
I hope not to give the impression of describing a world governed by AIs because the coming of the singularity described by the transhumanists does not seem a valid option for the human race.
Still, we ask ourselves the question, and many times!
The answer is inescapable, there will soon be autonomous apiaries, able to produce thousands of tons of honey, whether in the middle of the countryside, on the roof of a building or moving during a period of transumancy.
Ok for tomorrow, but for today, we start with what?
By the most boring! Put on jacket, start the smoker, raise the roofs, the frames ... everything that calls for patience and muscular effort, in short time!
So to save time for a beekeeper, what should we do? In any case it must be helped, either directly or indirectly, to improve the recurring operations to reduce their execution time without impacting the quality of the work or the cost, you know, the 3 rules of success of a project.
More concretely ? We will reduce the loss of time, that is to say the temporal spaces not requiring the human presence from its cognitive surplus value.
In an apiary, what takes the most time, I answer immediately: visits to the apiary! (And do the frames but hey we can buy any made already, for a fee for the work done).
So what, we cut contact with the bees? Clearly not! By reflecting a little, one can declare that the visit is appreciable but to open the hives, to disturb the bees, is it really the beekeeping of the 21st century?
The definition of the word "beekeeping" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beekeeping) is used to describe a branch of agriculture which consists of breeding honeybees to exploit the products of Hive, mainly honey.
Thus, agriculture is modernized, automating the most unpleasant tasks, improving its performance but also the quality of its products and all that thanks to the technology, which saves time, effort and speed.
But technology must not be a goal, it remains only a means, which must be well used to avoid errors.