I am new at beekeeping and I would like to begin a rating system for my hives. My plan is to encourage some of the "desirable" traits next spring. This is my first year and I plan on developing or using an existing rating system someone else has setup. I will rate these during hive inspections throughout this year and through the winter.

I am very sure there are MANY different opinions on this subject but I would like to hear from you. I would think that commercial beekeeps would weigh heavily on honey production and people leaning more towards hobbyists would have different criteria like less aggressive bees?

Some of these can obviously be combined but here are some of the traits that came to me first. All of these could have subcategories and many are dependent on each other but I had to start somewhere. I'm not sure how I would setup the rating system, I thought I would setup 5 to 8 different categories and weigh them on priority and setup a grading system for the highest priority traits: 5 (best) being most desirable and 1 being unacceptable or least important or something along those lines. I am very open for any and all suggestions....

General Categories so far:

Aggressiveness: stinging, headbutting, distance followed from hive, etc.

Survivability: mite/disease resistance with less intervention on my part, tolerance for weather in my area,

Productiveness: surplus of honey for harvest by me!

Reproductive abilities: brood pattern and amount of brood

Hygienic: Grooming, hive cleanliness, etc.

Swarm tendency:


SO WHAT MAKES A GOOD HIVE/QUEEN? What criteria do you use for the genetics you want to propagate? What do you NOT tolerate in your bees? Would you tolerate some aggressiveness for bees that have survived year after year or are great honey producers?