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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Waterboro, Maine
    Posts
    72

    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
    125

    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
    26,074

    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 "That which works, persists."

  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
    107

    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
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Shickshinny, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    807

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    Found this printable log sheet to give an idea of the kind of info that can be recorded

    http://www.mannlakeltd.com/newslette...tion-Sheet.pdf

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,735

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    I've taken to using Evernote on my smartphone. I start a new voice recording and note any relevant info about the colony right after I finish inspecting. So, I might say that I looked at my first colony in my home yard, noted a good brood pattern, found the queen, added a super of comb, etc. With Evernote, I can also take a picture of the colony and a bunch of other things like reminders, etc. Since Evernote is on all my devices (phones, pc's, servers, tablets) it all gets updated automatically. If I prefer it in written form, I transcribe it (also within Evernote) but I do it in summary format. What I did find helpful was to keep each new "note" separate by colony. Since you're not really using it as a database it's harder to look at historical info unless you separate the colonies to begin with. That way you have a chronological record by hive. One nice thing is that you can send a voice recording and picture from Evernote to someone else (mentor maybe) by email and they see what you saw. If you're using Linux, you'll need the Everpad client which works reasonably well. Having a screen protector on your phone is a good thing or (what I do) is a small spray bottle with alcohol to spritz your hands before using the phone. Helps keep the gunk off. One other quick hint. If you're doing summary inspections (not full tear downs), I walk the line of the hives and when I need to or when I'm done, I'll create my voice notes. So, I might create a new general note saying "colonies one through five have typical growth and brood pattern. Evidence of queen found. Foundation drawn adequately. No need for supers at this time. Colony six was hived on comb, needs a super next week or no later than the week after. Colonies seven through nine same as one through five. Colony ten looks weak. Numbers appear low. Possible failing queen. Needs tear down next week. Took photos for later review". This then gets disseminated more formally when I finish chores and get back into the house at night. Since the inspection of all the colonies was quick, I can trust my memory and make one general note at the end. Finally, if you're really worried about getting it all, start a new voice note, turn on the recording and lay the phone down near where you're working. Talk away.

    Sorry for the long post. The other tools mentioned are great but this has been working well for me.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,961

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    I make a mental note of what each hive is doing and smile if I see something I like and frown if I see something I don't. The next day I completely forget what I saw the previous day because sometime it changes.

    If I see a problem I try to take care of it but it has to be a very obvious problem. I would rather wait then make matters worse.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    I have started using a digital recorder, "Olympus Note Corder DP-201", these can be purchase at Walmart or online. I can take voice notes on each hive right after it is inspected and move on to the next hive. The record button can be pushed on and off with the eraser end of a pencil to keep the recorder from getting gunked up, I can then transcribe my notes into my logbook later.

    Ravenseye's method is much better in that it is more flexible and intricate by far but I have found that this little recorder satisfies my needs during inspections.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    I only have one hive, a swarm from Tuesday. I am going to use my Go-Pro camera and Hive tracks together. That way if I have questions later I have it all on video.
    Jim

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    new castle delaware usa
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    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). If hive is Qrite and everything if good I place the block on the right side of top with blue face out , if Qrite and weak block on left if needs feed stand block up. I have 18 hives and nucs, and just can`t remember any thing any more. when a virgin gets mated and is laying, she gets marked and the block gets turned to the blue face out. Each hive has a number and each nuc has a letter I keep a 5x8 file card for each with Queen info,( grafted from) and date grafted. Any changes go on the card, and block turned, I walk thru the yard and at a glance I know whats is happening in each box. It works for me.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: Record Keeping for Beeks

    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). If hive is Qrite and everything if good I place the block on the right side of top with blue face out , .
    I pondered very hard about painting bricks like that. But with 100 hives and useing pallets its moving a lot of bricks around. All my hives are branded with a number (just the bottom box) over the past few years, I find there is little I need to record. Just which ones need requeened, or supers. and occasionaly I want to keep a gueen located as she has breeder potential. so usualy I have resorted to useing empty queen cages. They are light and easy. If ther is one face up , its a queen I need to check, facedown needs a queen, standing on end need a super or hive body....

    I have my master notes on the PC.....excell spreadsheet

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,333

    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.

  15. #15
    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..

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,333

    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.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    new castle delaware usa
    Posts
    159

    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

  18. #18
    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.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,961

    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

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,333

    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.

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