I know part of everything is good records, but now that I have queens in mating nucs that are laying, that are virgins, that are emerging, that are in the cell finisher, that are in the cell starter, that are in the Jenter box and nucs that are queenless because I shipped them, it's getting difficult to keep track of the state of a given Nuc as far as a cell, a queen, a laying queen, no queen etc. Anyone have a simple system to keep track of everything?
Also I'm finding it more and more difficult to keep track of where I am on cells because I'm starting a new batch every five days or so. I was bothered all day at work because I was afraid the queens I put in the finisher a week ago Monday would be emerging today and I didn't think to check until I was on my way to work.
Anyone have a good system to keep track?
I needed much the same thing. I see cards and things are available. Not putting them down or anything, but I spend alot of time at my computer. I have windows XP, and the "Works database" software that came with it. You can put together a database, with all of your nucs on it, complete with varying stages of development. It has filters, that allow you to single out the specific stages, group them together, and send it to a printer! This way, your management is always up to date, its on the computer ect. I have filters set up for alot if things. Maybe on is check for eggs date, check for cell cap type, (ie drone layer?). The filters let you be as creative as you want, and the cards may not have "special things", or customized things that you may want to add. As I stated, cards are fine, and as long as you keep records, you are on the right track. It can get very confusing with the more and more things happening on any given day! For me, I find my custom database to fit my needs quite nicely.
After looking into the "ready date" calendar a bit more, it looks like a pretty good system. It has the same advantages as the dail (and more) in that all you need to do is look at the card on the nuc to see its status.
So far the cards are working fine. Some of it is getting used to them so I can come up with some meanings for odd situations. Like "I saw a queen last time, but didn't see her this time but there are a few eggs". Maybe she'd there, maybe she got lost. It's only a two frame nuc, so how could I not find her?
Or there was a queen last time, but there is no queen and no eggs yet, but then I wouldn't expect eggs yet. Is that a cell (no it's emerged) a virgin (maybe) or a laying queen (no) or no queen (maybe). So I just don't mark queen and mark what day I expect to find eggs. I know I removed the cell (because it's not cell) and I didn't find a queen (because that's not marked) and so all that is marked is the expected day for eggs.
I think this will work fine when I get it all straight in my head for the oddities. For the straight forward things it's just right. Of course if you hit a knot with the pin it's frustrating.
Oddities....sure there's bound to be some, but don't let that overload your brain. There will always be something a little "outside the box" no matter what, but for the most part I only do most of my checking before the queen begins laying.
One she commences, I let her keep doing her thing until she's needed elsewhere.
Don't skimp on cheepie push pins either. Good quality here pays because broken heads on pins are frustrating. I know they make alumimum headed pins but I haven't found any lately.
If you're interested, you can also think "outside the card" by placing another pin at either of the four corners (or anywhere else) of the card. Use this additional method to represent whatever you wish....just a thought!
[This message has been edited by James Burke (edited July 26, 2004).]
I use a calendar formed from a spread sheet. I sometimes graft about every 5 days so I have six colors to code the queens. The same color is on the spread sheet as is on the nuc. These colors are obtained by surveyors tape fastened by a push pin. Once you get the system going you can easily identify what stage the respective nuc is in. No queen is shipped until I observe her laying, this is insured by marking 100% of the queens that leave my yard.