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.
(3rd year, 12 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)