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Feb. 8, 2021

The Bee Corp with Ellie Symes (S3, E37)

The Bee Corp with Ellie Symes (S3, E37)

This week we talk with Ellie Symes, CEO of The Bee Corp. We met Ellie at the recent Almond Growers virtual conference. With pollination hives in almonds renting for around $200 each, almond growers want to make sure they are getting good, strong hives...

Ellie SymesThis week we talk with Ellie Symes, CEO of The Bee Corp. We met Ellie at the recent Almond Growers virtual conference. With pollination hives in almonds renting for around $200 each, almond growers want to make sure they are getting good, strong hives so they get maximum production from their orchards. Beekeepers want to make sure they are not spending time and money moving hives that don’t measure up to a grower’s standards. So, what’s the best way to make sure both beekeepers and growers get the biggest bang for their bees? One answer - fast, accurate grading using Bee Corp’s technology and their cloud-based software, Verifli.

Bee Corp staff visit beeyards, holding yards or orchards at night and take IR photos of two sides of each colony on a pallet. The image is uploaded to the cloud and their sophisticated software reports exactly how many frames of bees are in each of the IR Scancolonies by the next morning. One person can do 1,000 colonies in one night if they need to. Beekeepers can do this even before trucking out to the orchard or while in a holding yard, saving money, ensuring growers they are sending strong colonies and meeting contract specs. Grade at night, get results the next day.

Hive technology may not have changed much since the 1850’s, but how we monitor and measure hives sure has. Listen today as we talk with Ellie about The Bee Corp, hive grading and the benefits of this exciting advancement available today for beekeepers and growers alike!

This week we also hear an update from James Wilkes in an audio postcard on changes at HiveTracks!

Scanning Pallets

Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:


Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping TodayStrong Microbials Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website:

This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help Global Pattiesensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode! 

We want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a quarterly magazine destined for2 Million Blossoms your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum.


We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments:

Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at

Bee Culture Magazine

Thank you for listening! 

Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong", Musicalman, "Epilogue"

Beekeeping Today Podcast is an audio production of Growing Planet Media, LLC

Growing Planet Media, LLC

James WilkesProfile Photo

James Wilkes

Founder - Hive Tracks, Beekeeper, College Professor,

James Wilkes is a beekeeper, college professor, farmer, and entrepreneur. With a career in computer science higher education (Appalachian State University) and years of practical beekeeping experience that includes building a small family farm and bee business (Faith Mountain Farm), his sweet spot is working at the intersection of computing and honey bees. He brings to life technology solutions that create a positive impact for honey bees and the stakeholders and food systems that depend on them and enjoys engaging the beekeeping community to improve our understanding and care of honey bees and the planet we inhabit.

James’ mathematics and computer science background (B.S. from Appalachian State University and M.S. and PhD. from Duke University) collided with farm and beekeeping life to create the environment for the creation and founding of HiveTracks as well as the genesis of the Bee Informed Partnership both of which were launched in the same week in August of 2010 in concert with the EAS conference in Boone, NC. Life since that moment has been full of growing businesses, research projects, honey bees, children, and relationships with people from around the world who share a common love of honey bees and their environs including the hosts of this podcast!

Ellie SymesProfile Photo

Ellie Symes

CEO The Bee Corp

M.P.A. in Information Systems and a B.S. in Environmental Management from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs