i think i'm in there with jp. i'm not great at record keeping and i have not the experience he has, but i know i only lost one this year and i think only one last year. they were iffy from the start.
by the end of the year, i can't remember which hive is which and i'm not sure it matters after you swap brood and do a couple of combines.
someday i'll remember to write stuff down, or at least mark the hives as i go........
i do think it's one of those things that can only be really learned by doing. all the instruction and watching is not the same as actually digging one out. you begin to get a feel for it and that's more important than all the technical advice you can gather.