For those that have more hives than you can count on both hands, what kind of notes do you keep on each hive? Do you have a form that you fill out? What does the form contain? Are you spending more time filling out paper work than you are spending with your bees?
I tried this year to keep records on each hive. It's the first year I've had more than you can count on both hands. So far I've failed pretty badly at it. It's difficult to go through twenty five hives (at one location) and stop to take notes when you're already soaked in sweat and can't wait to get out of your suit. It's hard to remember afterwards what you did and keep the hives all straight as to which one is which in the notes. I also have a board that has a "Q" on one side "Q" with an "X" on it on the other. I can put it on it's side if I'm not sure if it's queen right, put the Q up if it is and down if I know that it isn't. I mark the board when I mark the queen so I know the color she is marked with and the year (by the color). I write on the board with some permanent marker what breed the queen is. I think this system is more workable. I'm still trying to keep paper records, especially if I'm trying to raise queens etc. so I know exactly what I did when.
[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited July 31, 2003).]
I put a piece of masking tape on the hive body and scribble my notes of importance there. I also do this on the honey supers so I can keep track of the bee's progress and honey flows. I also have a seperate strip indicating the queen type, where it came from, and the date introduced.
The thing is though, I'm not really anal about it. I make notes only regarding supercedure, treatments, etc or wheather something is going wrong.
I have no interest in keeping any records beyond that. I don't have the time or the desire to make this into a paperwork nightmare.
I also tried to keep recorders for awhile.
I'd leave the notebook in one of my truck's then would forget it when I drive the other.
So I started wrighting on the back of the hive with a lead pen- the date's that I queened & all,But then I started forgetting my pen.So I gave up>>>>Mark
I keep a notebook and take it out to the bee yard with me each time. I write the hive numbers beforehand, then make any notes needed (quickly) before moving on to the next hive. I'm starting over this year and only have 6 hives, but just with those I can't remember the next hour (let alone the next day) what hive is doing what.
At one point,last year, I used one of those hand-held dictation type jobbies and dictated what was going on with each hive. Then I could come back and type it into the computer at my "leisure." Well, I don't have much leisure and I always forgot to dictate the date.
Greetings . . .
I use a Sony M-560V. This voice-activated microcassette-corder fits into the chest pocket of my coveralls. Each pc of equipment (stand, supers, frames, etc) has an enscribed number (used hand-held engraving tool before painting). As I begin each inspection, I verbally note date and time of day, stand number and external conditions. Each chamber number is recorded along w/ sequence and condition of each frame. Frames conditions include; % drawn, % capped brood, % nectar, % capped honey. After I'm finished, I transcribe/edit, it usually take 15-30 min to type into my computer.
I review the written record often, my first hive has been very educational.
The recordings are fun to hear; birds in the background, bees humming, etc. I wish all of you could hear how HOT my smoker was when I touch the nozzle unexpectantly.
For the first time in 33 yrs. I kept a notebook. Numbered each hive. Quick note after each look/see. Also helps to look before you open the hive to know what happened last time. Hope to keep it up.
my notebook is one of my most useful items in my beebox,the dry paper is excellent for starting your smoker.i carry a paint marker and write on the back of the back of the bottom deep.i mostly write ;type of queen,date of introduction,or if it's a swarm,when and where i caught it.