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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Waterboro, Maine
    Posts
    73

    Default Record Keeping for Beeks

    I'm determined this year to keep better records during my hive inspections. One reason I've been a bit lax in this area is because I really don't know how much information I should be recorded, or how it should be compiled.

    So, my question is, what type of information do you record during your hive inspections? Do you have a typical form you fill out that you can share?

    Looking forward to hearing what others are doing.

    Tim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Reddick, FL (Ocala)
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    First hive beek, and learning for 3 years now intensely.

    For general convenience, wanted something portable.
    Chose Hivetracks.com to use on both smartphone (web access required) and at any computer.

    Also curious what others use and why.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    I use bricks to tell me the hive status at a glance. Every hive gets two bricks. Example two bricks stacked on top of each other means I need to super that hive. So if I go into a yard with supers I can tell at a glance which ones are in need of a super. Two bricks in the shape of a "T" means that hive is in tip top shape for winter.

    I use push pins to tell me the status of the queen. Example 2 push pins means she is marked and mated. A push pin hanging out of the lip of the lid means there is a queen cell hanging (either supersedure, swarm, or grafted) That tells me to check for a mated queen on that hive during my next yard inspection. Extra push pins are kept on the side of the hive.

    I keep generic notes on the lid with a paint pen that I always carry in my pocket. Example. 4/19/13 5 frames B (brood) Rotate fed gallon & patty.

    I write the lineage and where I acquired it from on the front of the hive. If a hive "John Doe 2012" supersceded a queen or swarmed I would write "John Doe 2012 Daughter 2013"

    Make your notes work for what you want or need to know about your hives. I tried to keep a 3 ring binder with each hive having it's own page. But that takes to much time cross referencing hive numbers back to page numbers to acquire a simple bit of information on a hive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,274

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    What r u recording? "Need more supers."? "Queen dead."? What do you feel you need to record? R u evaluating queens for rearing purposes? I make notes of what I did to a yard of hives. And then hardly ever read what I wrote. I haven't made notes in quite a while. So, what's your goal?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Randolph, NC, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    This is my first year actually keeping a hive. Dadant has a packet of sheets dedicated to the sole purpose of tracking various aspects of the hive's progress. I was rather upset that the $2.00 hive checklist packet (that i think might fall into a copy machine ) cost almost 6 times in shipping than the actual product. Figured it as a one time purchase though. Ithought i would be excellent to help me learn what to look for, as well as to keep records in a standardized format. Might want to look into it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Australia, NSW
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    www.hivetracks.com in case it hasn't been noted already?
    It's still free I think, or donate.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,425

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    Quote Originally Posted by pine_ridge_farms View Post
    I use bricks to tell me the hive status at a glance. Every hive gets two bricks. Example two bricks stacked on top of each other means I need to super that hive. So if I go into a yard with supers I can tell at a glance which ones are in need of a super. Two bricks in the shape of a "T" means that hive is in tip top shape for winter.
    I use bricks they keep the lid on in the wind. Also 6 colors on the bricks each color means something.

    Also the best program out there is http://beecloud.co/en/ they listen to you when you need a new feature etc. Check them out.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,425

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    Quote Originally Posted by 71Corvette View Post
    I'm determined this year to keep better records during my hive inspections.
    I say that every year. I numbered all my hives and kept notes most of the time. But, now I am at 250 hives and those programs out there dont let you bulk update with check boxes when I move them etc. So it has been a futile attempt. I have given up and have 6 colored brick on top of my hives when they are in my home yards so I can quickly flip the brick based on what is going on. I could up the issues and know what hive to come back to fix the issue. Otherwise it is 1 rock or two on top when I am out in the fields pollinating.

    Quote Originally Posted by oldiron56 View Post
    I cut 2x4s into 3 1/2" sqr blocks and paint each side a diff color. Blue (queenrite) White (virgin) Red (queenless) Black (deadout or empty).
    I use brick and it helps with the lids blowing off in a wind. I buy them by the pallet at .40 a peice then paint them the same colors. Same as oldiron does. Never make it to the card though. Green Good, Red Bad, yellow queen issue, blue on end good to move, black on end means dead out etc.

    I tried different color lids for issues but that never scaled well.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Murray KY, USA
    Posts
    263

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    There's also http://beeorganizer.ru/ if no one's seen it. They used to have a .com mask as well, but it seems dead now. Frankly, I never saw much need in the .com... It's a russian site, but in english.

    Seems a little overkill though, but I just have one hive ATM..

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,425

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkWolf View Post
    There's also http://beeorganizer.ru/ if no one's seen it. It's a russian site, but in english.
    Nice video. Wished I learned Russian when I was there adopting. I would buy that product so no one could use it but me.

    It is an online only tool. Need a program I can take on my tablet.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    new castle delaware usa
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    I use brick and it helps with the lids blowing off in a wind. I buy them by the pallet at .40 a peice then paint them the same colors. I wish I would have thought of that, I have a brick on them too. I could have painted them and had 6 sides of info. Wood blocks would blow over. N3SKI

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Murray KY, USA
    Posts
    263

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    It is an online only tool. Need a program I can take on my tablet.
    https://www.beetight.com/

    They have an android and IOS app which might fit your needs.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,137

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    I think you could take the millions of credit cards / debit cards that are thrown into the land fill and swipe the info into the card for what you want the condition to be. You could almost use the brand of card as an identifier and then place the appropriate card on the hive. You could also punch holes in the card as a visual identifier. The number of holes equals the condition. Blasting through an apiary you could swipe the cards on your cell phone and have an accurate inventory of all conditions.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,425

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    Quote Originally Posted by DarkWolf View Post
    https://www.beetight.com/

    They have an android and IOS app which might fit your needs.
    Nope no bulk updates. Cant move each hive individually it takes too long to use.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,425

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I think you could take the millions of credit cards / debit cards that are thrown into the land fill a.......of all conditions.
    Not sure how to use that idea.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Enfield, NC
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    I also keep two bricks on top of each hive. They keep the lid from blowing off but I also use them to remind me about queen status. Both laying down means she is there and laying. One upright tells me I need to look for eggs, like if I requeened or have a virgin. Two upright means queenless.

    I also keep a spreadsheet to track if I feed, when and how much, if and when they swarmed etc. I also create records for splits with a date to go look for eggs so I don't get ahead of myself and go in too early, but can also know when it's been too long so I can intervene.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,137

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    Not for nothing you could write a book on a 5 gallon pail.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    974

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    For me, note taking must be easy to do and easy to retrieve the info, otherwise my laziness prevents me from doing it. I've thought of using some sort of electronic recording, but then the info is hidden away on storage media somewhere and it is not easily accessible when I am in the apiary. Transcribing takes an extra step and thus won't get done. Wading through a bunch of video to recall what was done 8 weeks ago would take too long.

    I would also distinguish between a system which creates a record to enhance the learning process, vs a system which is just leaving me a future note so I know what the next step is in whatever operation I am doing to a hive. Right now, I am doing the former, but if I had more hives or had more experience, I would be doing the latter.

    After some trial and error, I now tape a sheet of water proof paper (Rite In The Rain) on the top of each lid and write on it with pencil. Usually just one line per inspection or manipulation. The paper and pencil are weather proof and sit in the open on top of the hive for most of year with no ill effects. Literally an extra 10 seconds per hive at each inspection/manipulation and I have a complete and easily accessed record. Super easy, and the info is right there in front of my face whenever I approach the hive.

    I find looking over the notes for the previous few months to be very helpful because it allows me to spot trends I wouldn't otherwise notice. This is especially helpful for evaluating queens. When the page is full I replace it and put the full page in a notebook in case I want to look at it in the future.



    .
    Last edited by shinbone; 12-07-2014 at 07:07 AM.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 12 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    394

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    shinbone you use information media a little different from mine , but the strategy is completely identical. Have specific information that allows us to understand and spot the hive trends is a critical piece for quick and appropriate intervention.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Posts
    364

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    Hive Tracks. Best app out there to manage hives

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