Each year, commercial beekeepers transport thousands of hives across the country, providing vital pollination services for crop growers. To ensure pollination is completed when scheduled this summer and bees are kept as healthy as possible, more of these enterprises may need to employ the use of route planning software to get to crop fields in a timely fashion.
More farmers request bees to improve yields
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, honey bees pollinate approximately 75 percent of the fruits, vegetables and nuts grown domestically. This, combined with the fact many honey bee hives are mysteriously disappearing throughout the country, makes it essential for commercial farmers to ensure their crops receive pollination each spring and summer. Crops that aren't properly pollinated can fail to produce sufficient yields and have significant consequences for fruit, vegetable and nut producers. This makes these farmers reliant upon commercial beekeepers and the hives they transport across the country or throughout a certain region.
Fast, effective routes necessary for beekeepers who fear hive loss
Because so many farmers are in need of services, beekeepers in this industry need to ensure they're making all stops on schedule and giving their hives enough time to effectively pollinate a field or grove. They also need to ensure they're taking the most direct route and getting to destinations quickly to ensure their bees stay as healthy as possible. With colony collapse disorder rampant and no known solution, beekeepers are losing more hives and need to guarantee existing ones are healthy. According to data from the USDA, beekeepers reported colony losses of 30 percent from 2010 to 2011. Failing to get to destinations in a timely manner can further stress the insects and put a commercial beekeeper's entire operation at risk.
To mitigate the risks associated with these long hauls, it may be necessary for some commercial beekeepers to utilize route optimization software while transporting their hives to different crop fields. Taking the best planned routes can help these businesses keep their insects healthy and improve customer relationships. By consistently being on schedule for pollination, they can also eliminate the time associated with manual route planning and reduce overall fuel expenses for such trips.