Strategic tools

We all use tools to do our day to day job. I use the Medium platform to post this post, and you’re using a device to read it. Tools are invented, morphed, and constantly optimized to make a given task more convenient, efficient and cost-effective. Tools are contextual, obviously; every industry, category and task has dedicated tools that have been perfected over time for the combination of the task and the user. Despite not doing the proper research, intuitively it is safe to assume that the level of investment in tools development in a given industry correlates to certain factors such as how strategic it is, how much value/ROI it generates, how much impact it creates (financially and otherwise).

There are exceptions to this rule; some industries have not seen the level of investment required in morphing the tools to advance the industry. There are even exceptions to this rule: some industries have not seen almost any investment in the tools required to advance the industry. And then there’s the Beekeeping industry.

Some context: honeybees are the worlds’ most effective pollinator. They actively pollinate about 30% of all the food we consume, and 70% of all crops, globally. To put it in a more dire way, 30% of what 7B+ (and growing) billion people consume, every day, is possible because of honeybees. That sip of coffee you just took? there’s a bee responsible for it. So strategic: check.

More context: honeybees are directly responsible for $100B+ of produce (through pollination), every year. They also are directly responsible for a ~$10B+ honey market, that they produce exclusively, every year. So value/ROI: check.

Last but not least, the beautiful world we live in would not have been remotely possible without bees: they pollinate 95% of flora in the world. That’s flowers. Impact: check.

So how come the main technology (/tool) that is utilized today by commercial Beekeepers, to pollinate 30% of what 7B+ people, is this:

The “modern” beehive
We’re so accustomed to seeing them in the field, we don’t realize anymore how antiquated they are

And to carry on their daily routine, which consists of bees’ upkeep, they use these:

Smoker; same version that was used in 1850…
“Hive tool”: this tool doesn’t even have a proper name, yet it is the most common one used by Beekeepers

And lest we not forget the pinnacle of modern beekeeping technology:

The Beekeeper’s “safety net”

…in all its versions…

When I mentioned earlier the exception to the rule, with regards to evolution of tools, beekeeping is the exception to the exception. Beekeepers still utilize tools that were designed, developed and “optimized” in the mid 1800’s. Yes, dear flabbergasted reader, in the highly strategic, highly impact, and high value industry of Beekeeping, there has been close to zero investment in the last 150+ years, in designing, modernizing, and optimizing of tools that make this industry possible to begin with. Until Beewise.

To Bee or Not To Be