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Author Topic: What do YOU keep as records?  (Read 809 times)
Trufflehound
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Location: Columbia County, Georgia, United States


« on: October 17, 2013, 03:22:43 PM »

What do you all recommend for log-taking/record keeping for your hives?  I've pulled some ideas from Dave Cushman's site (I can't post the link due to having a low post count, but it's under his bee breeding >> record keeping section), and I think a lot of it was good information.  Do you also record weather statistics for the day?  If so, what's important to you?  Temperature?  Humidity?  Also, what, if anything, do you record about the flora?

Sorry for all the questions; I'm not even new enough to call myself a new beekeeper.  I just want to make sure that when I start, I've got a good foundation.  With my job, I'm used to trending things and taking a lot of logs on a lot of different things.  Maybe this will be helpful to me (or maybe I'm overdoing it)

What information do you find useful to record?  What do you wish you had kept an eye on from the get-go that you didn't learn until later?

Thanks!
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RHBee
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 04:28:15 PM »

With 14 colonies I havn't found the need for record keeping yet. When I do it will be with hive tracks.
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Ray
10framer
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2013, 07:40:45 PM »

Brood production, productivity, outbreaks of efb, beetle control, attitude.  I also try to keep track of when things bloom, the length of the blooming period and how hard the bees work it.
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2013, 03:20:26 AM »

.
Most record programs are carbage, like site of yard and site searching via satellite!


There are importnat tasks along a year. Remember do them....
But with few hives-----

I often put a thing on the roof. It is a sign "job done".

- feeding ready - no feeding box any more
- queen wing clipped ....swarm on tree top = not clipped

- weight of feeded hive,

- entrance reducer on....you see, if it is not
- mouse quard on..look

Rubbish markings:  a'clock  14:35 bees flying  200/minute, pollen coming in, sun is shining, plaa plaa plaa

What about mobile in markings? I have destroyed one mobile when it was too dirty by resins

.Many of records concentrate to sieve out queen hives fo queen rearing.

.

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10framer
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2013, 09:14:43 AM »

if i understood him finski is right.  everything i track other than the flows is for queen rearing purposes.  i don't keep a notebook of any kind or use any software, etc. i have designated marks i put on the hives for different things.  i put two bricks on the hives that i think have problems and i turn them certain ways to note the problem.  as far as brood production and productivity go observation and an average memory usually are good enough records.  i'm starting my second year in the area i'm in and went into it blind this season and worked off of instinct and a lot of driving to see when things were blooming in the area.  next spring i have a better idea of when to do what as far as splits and supering goes as long as the weather doesn't do anything crazy.

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Trufflehound
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Location: Columbia County, Georgia, United States


« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2013, 10:56:12 AM »

Thanks, everyone.  This has been helpful. 

I'm just trying to figure out what should be done and when before I jump in.  I probably won't ever have enough hives for much of this to even matter, but after reading up on raising and breeding queens, I think that might be something I'd be interested in (hence the thread).  It seemed to me like there were data points that should be taken for that, and I just wasn't certain what should be recorded and what shouldn't.  You all have helped clear a lot of that up.  Thank you.
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mikecva
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2013, 03:42:27 PM »

Like most old beeks I do not keep good records. I do track water content (%) of the honey per yard location and the color. This tells me what to expect when there is a rainy spring or cold spring, but again even these records are not that great as I have just about learned enough for this old mind.  Brian -Mike
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BabcockFarms
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2013, 11:39:51 PM »

I wasn't able to find a hive / apiary record keeping system I liked, so I created a spreed sheet to keep track of the things I was looking to watch. A good deal of the records is used to decide which queens genetics I want to select for rearing.

Some of the things I keep track of are:
  • Temperament
  • Buildup
  • Over Wintering Ability
  • VSH Traits
  • Honey Production
  • Brood Patern
  • Swarm Resistance

Every time I go out, I bring a pre-printed sheet to jot quick notes on then enter them into the spreed sheet to look back on at some point in the future. I also video tape inspections to refer back on later. this speeds up the inspection and improves accuracy. I would never be able to make the best decisions rearing queens the following spring if I relied solely on memory. I strive to raise the best possible queens, which starts with good genetics.

If I was only harvesting honey I'm sure I would not keep such detailed note. A photo of the hives just before harvest (ie. number of supers) would paint a pretty accurate picture and help management decisions the next year.
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Ron Babcock

                                  "I believe the good that men do, will live long after they gone."
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<
Finski
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2013, 01:32:19 AM »


I strive to raise the best possible queens, which starts with good genetics.
.................

If I was only harvesting honey I'm sure I would not keep such detailed note.

If you harvest ONLY honey, qood queens are one of corner stones. More important is however selecting  pastures, where carry your good hives.
Yields have  often 3-fold diffence.

If you do not select your queens, nursing is a nasty job.

But I have noticed that best honey producers are hybrids. To look for drone hives is essential .
My neighbour has very qood bee stock and it helps me too.
-
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shinbone
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2013, 08:56:48 AM »

I am a new hobbiest beek with about a dozen hives just finishing my second season.  I must fit my beekeeping efforts around my full time job and a few other activities.  

The first year I had 4 hives, and I could just remember everything I needed to about each hive.  The second year I went to 12 hives, and my memory was no longer good enough so I had to go to record keeping.

IMHO, the key to keeping records is finding the right balance between information retention and the amount of time the keeping records consumes.  In other words, if the record keeping process is too cumbersome because the recording method is awkward or the amount of data entered is too voluminous, you won't consistently do it and the records then become useless.

I first tried a notebook, but it added way too much time to the inspection process.  I thought about some electronic method, but messing with a smart phone or recorder during inspections also seemed like too much work.  Also, Sitting down after inspecting 12 hives to convert the electronic records to something useful like a notebook was just too much.

I finally settled on writing notes on each hive's metal hive top with a Sharpie pen.  This method is super easy, the record is automatically correlated with the correct hive, and all the info is right there in front of my face just as I open the hive.  When I run out of room, I erase the first entries and keep going.  Info like queen and honey produced is preserved on the top line and changed as needed.  This provides about a 2 month rolling hive record.  For me for this year, the Sharpie pen on the hive top has worked really well.



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capt44
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2013, 09:53:43 AM »

I use a program called "Bee Tight" to keep records on my hives and bee yards.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
Mbeck
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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2013, 06:25:28 PM »

I keep a strip of duct tape on the covers of hives to write on. Works well if I can remember what my symbols/shorthand meant when I wrote it and I put the covers back on the hive they came from!
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T Beek
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2013, 08:27:23 AM »

My colonies are numbered and have somewhat permanent stations or positions in my bee yard.  For each station or hive I keep a separate coordinating numbered notebook.  

The longer I keep bees and the more colonies I have, the more important these books have become.  Over the years I've gotten pretty good at shorthand, remember that old skill?  Smiley

I try to record as much as possible.....winter reading anyone?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 08:41:53 AM by T Beek » Logged

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RHBee
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2013, 09:54:46 AM »

My colonies are numbered and have somewhat permanent stations or positions in my bee yard.  For each station or hive I keep a separate coordinating numbered notebook.  

The longer I keep bees and the more colonies I have, the more important these books have become.  Over the years I've gotten pretty good at shorthand, remember that old skill?  Smiley

I try to record as much as possible.....winter reading anyone?

Wow, I just googled shorthand. New found respect for you T Beek. That's like learning a foreign language. I've been following this thread and learned that it might be best to "mend my ways" and start keeping records. I think I will look for a more modern way to implement, you know like an app for my android, something I can convert to .pdf with voice recognition software. You can store a lot of information on a 16G jump drive.
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Later,
Ray
T Beek
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2013, 10:08:59 AM »

I must admit to being a bit of a luddite or techNOpeasant and quite enjoy the time spent sitting quietly among my bees writing down new observations with pen and paper, something familiar about it...comforting is the word I suppose.  I don't own a cell phone and the computer is actually my wife's.  She is my tech go to gal.

If it wasn't for this forum I doubt I'd spend much time here.....on the web...to be honest, although I do also enjoy my Daily News from "the Progress Report" website.

I suppose someone will eventually use all these writings of mine (I have volumes on several subjects Undecided) as fire starter some day...another form of recycling grin.  Can't say that about 'tweeting' now can we?  laugh
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