Beekeepers Enter the Cloud

hive-tracks-guysHive Tracks addresses the problem of maintaining useful beekeeping records, which is a never ending struggle for beekeepers. Immersed in the world of high technology and beekeeping, founders Mark Henson and James Wilkes have created a powerful tool to assist the beekeeping community in the challenging area of record keeping.

Designed according to real beekeeping experience, utilizing cloud computing technology, and adopting Google’s business model for free tools, www.hivetracks.com offers an intuitive, accessible, secure, useful, and free record keeping system to beekeepers of all stripes. Internet access is all that is required to begin using the service.

Record keeping is an important aspect of effectively managing honeybee colonies, but most beekeepers agree there is always room for improvement. Many record keeping methods have been employed historically: beekeeper memory, physical objects such as rocks on top of hives, writing directly on hives, notebooks, and more recently software.

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All of these are useful to some degree, but also have their own drawbacks including preservation of data, recall of data, organization of data, and ease of use. Hivetracks.com is designed to mitigate each of these challenges by storing data on a reliable, secure server, making data accessible through a desktop, wireless, or cell phone internet connection, organizing data according to how beekeepers think, and providing an intuitive, visual interface.

Hive Tracks co founder Mark Henson is a professional software engineer with over 25 years experience in the software industry and is a hobby beekeeper. Co founder James Wilkes is a University Professor with a PhD in Computer Science and is a sideline beekeeper. Living in the same community in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, these two men came to the same conclusion that there had to be a better way of keeping up with hive data and thus began the development of Hive Tracks. After several years of thinking about the idea and another year of development and testing, the first version of hivetracks.com was released at the Eastern Apiculture Society Annual Meeting in early August 2010.

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The web-based nature of Hive Tracks allows new features to be added seamlessly on an ongoing basis in response to user feedback. In addition, version two introduced major changes and was just released at the 2011 North American Beekeeping Conference in Galveston. The founders of hivetracks.com are committed to keeping the service free and protecting your data. James Wilkes said, “We guarantee that any functionality you currently use will always be free!” Many people question the sincerity of this statement, but there are other successful ways to generate revenue, and Hive Tracks is pursuing those models, much like Google with revenue from advertising.

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In addition, hivetracks.com will not abuse, sell, or disclose member location or contact information. Data entered by members of Hive Tracks may be used for internal research purposes to discover trends, best practices, and other meaningful information. Results of the research may be published to help the beekeeping community or be combined with other honeybee research projects. In any case, users will be given an option to allow their information to be used for these purposes.

Several hundred beekeepers have already started using hivetracks.com to keep up with their hives and give it great reviews:

“Awesome Software! I can’t pull myself away from setup!!”

“Great site! Learned about you from your Beesource posting.”

“This software is awesome and came along at a perfect time as I just captured my first hive.”

“What a great site you have created!!

“All I can say is… Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Hivetracks.com was founded to satisfy the record keeping needs of the beekeeping community, from hobby to sideline to commercial to research. More than just a web site, Hive Tracks is a powerful application making beekeeping records accessible and secure and is unmatched in ease of use and value. Click here to register for your free Hive Tracks account.

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