Saturday, January 22, 2011

iPhone Apps for Beekeepers

I have an iPhone and there seems to be an App for everything - but beekeeping? Here are some I have had a look at which might interest you. I have not included any that are games - these are all supposed to be educational and instructive...

Biobees - £1.79 from Wizzard Media - Brought to you from the people that put together the barefoot beekeeper podcasts and related website. They are very good and contain we lot of useful information, but do focus on the top bar method of keeping bees. The App has little to offer over the podcasts and website, to be honest, so in my opinion an ok App for top bar hive users, and even then with little long term use unless they provide some serious updates to expand the material. The money goes to a good cause though, so that's a bonus. Check out their website first to see if you like that; if you do, then the app will probably suit you.

Beekeeping Guide - £1.79 from PTAJ Marketing - As the other reviews on iTunes point out, this claims a lot but does not deliver; it's an unattractive app with text about beekeeping, but no more, not even any pictures and certainly no high value content like video, audio or interactive graphics. I believe it's a waste of money. The other apps reviewed here have more content, are better laid out and are cheaper!
Mysteries of Bee Keeping

Mysteries of Bee Keeping Explained - £0.59 from DMBC - This is basically an American text book provided in app format. It has a very attractive front page picture of a cyber-style bee, but that is the only picture in the book that I found so far. However, for 59p, this is not a bad buy; it's an American text, so the language and the seasonal references might be a bit off for the non-American purchasers, but this is still a lot of information for 59p. It's also well split up into chapters and subchapters, so it's easy to quickly get to the information you want at any one time. Better to get the free version on iBooks though! Especially as this one seems to be a bit cut down from the original on iBooks and the Andrews UK Ltd version below.
RATING: Average.

Honeybees! - £1.19 from Smiley Cat LLC - One of the best in terms of pictures; great full colour shots throughout the app, but the content is pretty light and certainly for absolute beginners only. The content within this app could easily be picked up from the internet for nothing and it offers very little help and advice for anyone that actually keeps bees; it's more for people interested in bees but don't intend to have any of their own.

Bee Keeping - Learn how to keep bees successfully - £0.59 from AppWarrior - Impressive title and a very low price, but another to avoid, to be honest. This claims to be an eBook, but there is a disappointing amount of content in the text, would probably amount to no more than 30 pages of a real book. Once again, there are no pictures at all in the app, making it an unlikely aid to helping any beekeepers out there. Not bad if you want to learn a bit more about bees than Honeybees! gives you, but the lack of pictures earns it a low rating from me.

Mysteries of BK M Quimby
Mysteries of Bee Keeping Explained by M Quimby - £0.59 from Andrews UK Ltd - Not to be mixed up with the Mysteries of Bee Keeping Explained provided by DBMC, although it is the same book! This seems to be a more complete version of that book which actually has a huge amount of content (claims the eBook has 720 pages) and lots of useful, if not somewhat dated, advice. It also lets you bookmark pages you want to refer to later. For 59p, its cheap and it even has some pictures, although they are line drawings and there are not many of them. However, if you use the free iBooks app (see below) you can download it for free.
RATING: Good - but get it on iBooks for free (see below).

Honey Health Free! - £free from mmajdi - This is less of a bee keepers app, more an app that explains where honey comes from, what it can be used for, etc. The user interface is a bit clunky and over elaborate in some areas, but there is useful content in here. Remember it is free, so worth downloading and trying out to go through it and see if you think it is worth keeping; I liked the remedies section, laid out alphabetically, although the data was limiting. The beauty section looked like a bit of an afterthought, but could give you inspiration to look on the internet for more information. For free, it's worth a try.
Honey Health Free!
RATING: Average.

Bee Sounds - £0.59 from Elastic Ventures - Seriously? This app claims to  provide 9 sounds that bees make, so you can play them as a 'bee lover'. There is no claim that this will help bee keepers, nor do they explain what the bee sounds mean, so all in all, even for 59p, an terrible waste of time and money for a bee keeper.
RATING: Laughable.

Bee Encyclopedia - £0.59 from Nellvii - A very slick looking product that has great colour photographs and could have been a really useful app, if it had much more content. This is a missed opportunity, to go to all that trouble and create something that looks this good, then put virtually no content in there at all? There is such a tiny amount of information in here, it is far from encyclopedic.

iBooks - £free from Apple Inc. - A quick mention for this great app, especially seeing as so many of the 'true' apps reviewed above turned out to be no more than eBooks anyway. iBooks is a great way to get to lots of free titles (modern titles will need to be bought, please note). These include, if you look for them, some bee keeping volumes, like Langstroths 'The Hive and the Honey Bee', which you can download onto your iPhone in seconds. Also worth downloading for free using this app are 'an Introduction to Natural Beekeeping' and 'Mysteries of Bee Keeping Explained by M Quimby'.
RATING: Very Good.

Prices were right at time of writing and may change. 


  1. Hi, there is an iphone game called Beekeeper. You have to defend the queen against insect enemies.

    app for beekeeper
    An app for Android in which observations are recorded by the beekeeper for each beehive in a mobile phone or tablet