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Kickstarter off and running

It is fantastic to see so much early interest in the wireless scales project and plenty of people picking up the rewards. Many thanks to those of you who have backed the project already.

We are delighted to say that we have already passed three of the five goals set, which mean we can confirm that wireless scales, talking scales and the doorway activity sensor will all be developed.

But we still have a good way to go to get to the ultimate goal. We're 30% of the way to the complete hive health system stretch goal.

So help us spread the word and send this to your colleagues ( www.hivemind.co.nz/kickstarter ) or click on it yourself to get an update on progress.

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New South Wales conference in Narrabri

Berwyn and Christian had a great time meeting lots of people at the recent NSWAA conference in Narrabri. Great to see lots of familiar faces again and make some new acquaintences too.

Thanks in particular to Therese Kershaw for organising the trade show, and to Ray Clarke and Rob Mitchie for the loan of their hives for our stand.

Have a look at our facebook page to see some other pictures, including our side trip to the CSIRO telescopes.

European pollination study results released

A very interesting study looking at the bee population and pollination in Europe was recently released (Breeze TD, Vaissière BE, Bommarco R, Petanidou T, Seraphides N, et al.,2014).

The study found that the number of bee colonies had increased 7% across 41 countries in Europe from 2005-2010. However the area of crops requiring bee pollination had increased 17% over the same period. Most of this was due to increases in biofuel crops such as oilseed rape, sunflower and soybean. Factoring into account the recommended stocking rate of honeybees required per hectare for each crop allowed the researchers to calulate the total numbers of colonies that would be needed to meet the demand. The results show that pollination demand has increased 4.9 times faster than the bee population has increased resulting in a massive deficit in managed pollination services in Europe.

To see the full details, see the full publication below:

Agricultural Policies Exacerbate Honeybee Pollination Service Supply-Demand Mismatches Across Europe.

Let's hope policy makers elsewhere are taking note.

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