1. I am a new beekeeper and also a computer person. This project looks excellent! What happened to it? Was/is there a product? Is the source code available?



    • Hi Alan,
      Nice to hear from someone interested in work that has been done decades ago. How did you get to know about the project? Why are you interested in it?

      The project has (at the time) attempted to get European funding to become part of a larger and more effective attempt to deal with bee problems, especially linked to environmental monitoring. Those attempts unfortunately failed, and since then the project ended up on the shelves, so to say.
      I still have the source code, as you may know in (VisualWorks) Smalltalk. You might be surprised how easy it is to port it to modern VisualWorks Smalltalk environments — I have not attempted it, but I can make a pretty solid guess it is very doable.
      However porting it to other languages might be more work. Porting it to Objective-C might be easiest I guess, since the language is very similar to Smalltalk. Actually I have done one such port already and it was a delight to do. Another port (of the personal finance software M€G) is on my todo list.
      About the availability of the source I am not sure, I have bcc’ed this reply to my mentor-at-the time who might be able to say more on that.
      I’ll get back to you about that as soon as I know more.
      Appended (July 19, 2013): As I confirmed in a direct email conversation to Alan, the project and source code is mine to deal with as I wish. I am currently looking into possibilities for funding a resurrection of the project. Possible sources might be for example the Dutch Beekeepers Association (or similar organisations internationally) to use as an aid in training.

  2. I recently found your old work on the beehive simulator. I too would be interested in the old source. I’m a programmer by trade that recently got into beekeeping. I ran into your old project while thinking about doing something similar myself.

    My goal is to create a bee apiary (and local environment) simulator that can be used to optimize the various “parameters” (ie hive placement, distance to food sources, hive size, number of boxes, weather interactions etc) I see the whole beekeeping process as an optimization problem.

    It may be possible (assuming we have reasonable behavior algorithms) to use modern machine learning techniques to search for better/best overall system designs.

    Questions I hope to answer in time using the simulator would include (but not be limited to), how many hive should be clustered in a particular area, what plants should I seed in nearby fields, how many water sources should be placed and where… etc.

    It’d like to create an open source project (perhaps on sourceforge) using a modern programming language (like python, C# or F#). Your old project seems well designed from an OO perspective. Any chance I can get a look at the source?

    • Thanks, Michael, for your interest. Personally I would very much like it to move the old project into production again using Smalltalk. Would you be open for that?

  3. I had thought about this idea today (my wife started beekeeping this yr.), I’m surprised it isn’t out yet. Would make a great PhD thesis project.

    • well, it actually was, at the time (for me) 🙂 Apart from this paper more research work was done. We even started a European Union-funded project with several universities and beekeeping institutions involved. Due to conflict about the basic approach the project never delivered, to my great chagrin. A reboot might be really great with all the growing interest in bees.

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