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Right now I am just using simple notebook and pen. I also write on strips of tape that I place on my hives. The reason is due to me having a small number of hives. No need to over-complicate things. For a person who has a large number of hives, writing on the hives still makes sense for field use, but an excel spreadsheet would also be handy for keeping a tight knit operation. If you're handy with a program such as excel, you can design the spreadsheets to query any information you want for your operation in a very convenient manner. And, I meany ANY information.
 

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All my hives are numbered. When I do anything with the girls, I record it in my field notes. The field notes are in Word and equipment inventory is in Excel. I use the KISS business plan.
 

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I use Word and it goes something like this;

January 2014
equipment inventory:
Tools and clothing
smoker propane torch
three hive tools frame grip lifting tool
two bee brushes queen excluder scraper
electric uncapping knife two 1 gallon pump sprayer
xxl bee suit two white pith helmets
two xl and one medium pair of leather/canvas ventilated gloves
capping scraper one zip on and one tie on veil
60lb postage scale 220lb tension scale
measuring cup set measuring spoon set
2cup measure 5gal syrup bucket
large whisk funnel
three 1 1/2gal straining buckets paint strainers
three silicone sugar brick forms
hive components
four migratory bottom boards one reversible bottom board
four parallel slatted racks nine deep hive bodies
six medium supers three robber screens
four telescoping covers four migratory covers
five solid inner covers four ventilated inner covers
two wooden entrance reducers four metal bound queen excluders
two triangle bee escapes one double screen board
four nucleus hives
feeders
two boardman entrance feeders three in hive frame feeders w/ ladders
three deep sugar brick frames two hive top feeders
two nuc hive lids with feeder holes dry pollen substitute pollen feeder
queens
hive 2 and 4 cordovan italian from cf koehnen april 2013

winter work for 2014-
prepare hive bodies for package deliveries. Assemble 1 ¼” frames for brood boxes and nucs.

Plan for 2014-
make splits and order summer queens.
Try a tower/two queen hive
stick to and continue to update annual cycles of the broodnest plan.

Annual cycles of the broodnest in managed hives
january, bees are using the center of the hive like a chimney, and move up into the bee bread and honey in the second box. Check hive weight and feed syrup and/or pollen. Robbing season starts when hives are light and forage is not available.

January 5
weather 47* calm and sunny
all hives
hive configuration hive 2 and 4 have two deep brood boxes, standard inner cover winter side down with sugar bricks, empty super above inner cover and telescoping outer covers.
External observations entrance activity has been off and on dependent upon the weather. The bees have been collecting the pollen substitute but not interested in the sugar syrup.
Internal observations no internal inspection, just checking the sugar blocks above the inner cover. Hive 2 has not paid too much attention to them and hive 4 has used almost half of the blocks.
Bee characteristics calm
manipulations set up hive 1a and 1b in new location, in front of the chicken run in line with hives 2 and 4. Put straight soy flour into the pollen feeder and the bees seem to be taking it.
What’s next? Continue monitoring sugar blocks and pollen substitute. Ordered another migratory outer cover, slatted rack and four shallow supers (to be used as sugar block spacers)

mid-january, brood starts in the upper box, as the cycle repeats. Bees are making orientation flights and starting to bring in small amounts of pollen. Weather permitting, now is a good time to start feeding light hives. Treat hives with fumagilin-b for nosema 2-gallons per label. Time to install robber screens at entrances.

January 13
weather
hives 2 and 4
hive configuration
external observations
internal observations just looked in on the sugar bricks. Hive 2 is not really using them and i can see bee activity in the upper brood box. Hive 4 is using the sugar bricks, there are many bees on them
bee characteristics
manipulations i ground up some pollen and set it out to free feed. The bees were all over it so i tried mixing some of it in with the soy flour to see if they go for it.
What’s next?

January 18
weather clear 69* calm
hives 2 and 4
hive configuration hive 2 and 4 have two deep brood boxes, standard inner cover winter side down with sugar bricks, empty super above inner cover and telescoping outer covers.
External observations hive 2 has minimal traffic and hive 4 has some traffic. There are a lot of bees gathering the soy flour and ground pollen.
Internal observations only and inspection below the inner cover was performed. Hive 2 i removed a partial dried up pollen patty and repositioned the almost full one, it is still pliable. Hive 4 is still working the sugar bricks and not too much on the pollen patty.
Bee characteristics calm
manipulations put frame feeders in both hives with 5:3 sugar syrup and install robber screens.
What’s next? Monitor for robbing.

January 25
weather 62* and calm
hives 2 and 4
hive configuration hive 2 and 4 have two deep brood boxes, standard inner cover winter side down with sugar bricks, empty super above inner cover and telescoping outer covers.
External observations hive 2 has practically no activity at entrance. Hive 4 has heavy traffic with bees flying in and out. There is pollen substitute coming into the hive.
Internal observations hive 2 is not using the sugar blocks. The top brood box ans just a handfull of bees and no brood and did not locate the queen. The frame feeder has not been touched. Hive 4 is still using the sugar bricks, there are many bees on them. The frame feeder is empty there are a lot of bees in the top and bottom brood boxes. I moved some of the undrawn frames around so they coul be built out. The lower box has about three frames of brood. I did not see eggs and did not locate the queen but she must be in there.
Bee characteristics calm
manipulations i refilled the frame feeder on hive 4. Also mad up a batch of pollen substitute of soy flour, nutritional yeast and non fat dry milk 4:1:1 ratio and added it to the pollen feeder.
What’s next?


February, the broodnest expands and hive strength is building. The early flow may start and bees are bringing in larger loads of pollen. No need to provide pollen patties.

Date
weather
all hives
hive configuration
external observations
internal observations
bee characteristics
manipulations
what’s next?

Sorry, I wanted to edit before posting but hit the wrong button.
 

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Depends on how good your memory is, beekeeping isn't a time line, If I need to know what age queen is in the hive a colour coded drawing pin stuck into the BB will remind me, I only keep records for medicine used, superseded hives, new queens and size of colony, pointless keeping records for AFB and EFB as these colonies get destroyed
 

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I use Word like ccar2000, it works for me, just a short bit of chat regarding what I did, weather etc. Nothing too fancy as I don't want to make it a chore. I have enough Journals as it is :)
 

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I use hivetracks. I also print out their inspection form and follow it. I have both hard copy and online records.
 

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For many years I took hand written notes in a small flip pad notebook, noting what I did in each yard such as "Reversed supers and supered" more or less to remind myself which yds I already worked and what I might need to do toaddress a problem found there. Those note pads r in my desk drawer. I haven't looked at them in years.

Some bee equipment supply companies put out a large notebook, each page a day of a year w/ 4 or 5 year's spaces on a page so one can enter what happened that day and compare it to what happened the previous year(s). That sort of record keeping can be interesting.
 

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Honestly, I used to rely on using my memory in the past... but I kept forgetting to to remember. So, this year I am going to use a digital recorder in the field and transpose to paper. I figure it would be a good "rainy day" project. That is if I remember that I used the recorder in the first place. lol
 

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I am just about to put up a system.



You just print the card, laminate it and fix it to the hive. There are different ways to use it. My first idea is to use it with paperclips, that can be moved to show the status. Just like this.



Another way would be to use pushpins. Or within a metal hive lid with small magnets. I reckon it must be more weatherproof and the paperclips are not the last and best solution. Need to find an intelligent marker for this.

The first box shows if the hive is queenright vs. queenless and how old the queen is. Colour shows the year. The number is the last number of the year. (2013 = 3 = red.)

Second box shows temper: peaceful to hot temper. I think it is sort of a sting barometer.

Third box shows swarm activities.

Fourth box shows nectar collecting in summer and honey stores in winter.

Fifth box shows the varroa infestation status.

Put into a laminating foil...


..and baking it.


I cut ears on either side, so when I pushpin it, water doesn't reach the paper inside.


Mounted on the deep floor.


To move the paperclip you lift them with the hive tool and move them with the hive tool, too.


No paper and pen, no propolis sticky dictaphone. After you finished working the bees you simply walk along the hives and take a picture with your mobile phone. (You could take notes with paper&pen, but without the propolis.) Since there is a number on each picture you can identify the corresponding hive at home, where you can write down all the details and thus follow the development of that hive.

http://www.immenfreunde.de/docs/hivenotes.pdf

That's the basic idea.

Bernhard
 

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I usually just use my phone, open an email to myself, turn the voice recognition on, and say relevant things about the colonies I'm inspecting. I always make sure I reference the hive number, and any actions I think I need to do to that hive next time. The rest of it is just general items that I'm observing at that time (if I noticed any diseases, if I did any mite counts, sometimes frames of brood/honey, whether I spotted the queen or eggs, marked or unmarked, brood pattern, disposition of the bees, ect, if I treat then what, if I remove brood/bees for splits to where, if I remove supers of honey how much). I usually don't include all of them each time, temper being a good example. If they are particularly calm, I note it, if they are particularly runny or aggressive, I note it, otherwise I don't comment on it.

Then I email it to myself, where it stays indefinitely. Right before I head to a yard, I check the last email to see what I need to bring with me.

On a rainy day, I write the emails down on a notebook, with one page for each hive #, creating a year long (or longer) record.

More or less, what CC Miller did. Although using a phone :)
 

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I am just about to put up a system.



You just print the card, laminate it and fix it to the hive. There are different ways to use it. My first idea is to use it with paperclips, that can be moved to show the status. Just like this.



Another way would be to use pushpins. Or within a metal hive lid with small magnets. I reckon it must be more weatherproof and the paperclips are not the last and best solution. Need to find an intelligent marker for this.

The first box shows if the hive is queenright vs. queenless and how old the queen is. Colour shows the year. The number is the last number of the year. (2013 = 3 = red.)

Second box shows temper: peaceful to hot temper. I think it is sort of a sting barometer.

Third box shows swarm activities.

Fourth box shows nectar collecting in summer and honey stores in winter.

Fifth box shows the varroa infestation status.

Put into a laminating foil...


..and baking it.


I cut ears on either side, so when I pushpin it, water doesn't reach the paper inside.


Mounted on the deep floor.


To move the paperclip you lift them with the hive tool and move them with the hive tool, too.


No paper and pen, no propolis sticky dictaphone. After you finished working the bees you simply walk along the hives and take a picture with your mobile phone. (You could take notes with paper&pen, but without the propolis.) Since there is a number on each picture you can identify the corresponding hive at home, where you can write down all the details and thus follow the development of that hive.

http://www.immenfreunde.de/docs/hivenotes.pdf

That's the basic idea.

Bernhard
Great idea! Could also do for treatments, splits etc.
Thank you.
I have a laminator...now I just need the colourful strips.
 
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