Record Keeping

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Bens-Bees, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    I've been trying to get my records in order lately. I've been creating my own custom MS Access database to keep track of everything, although I'm not entirely positive that's the best way to do it (I may end up migrating to SQL later, but I'll cross that bridge later).

    How do you keep your records, and what kinds of things do you keep record of?
     
  2. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    Kare so far has kept all our records. She has been useing thick notebooks and writing in the information as we are leaving the bee yard. She uses one note book for two yards despite my efforts to get her to switch to a lap top.
    She records date and time of visit, air temp and amount of sun like overcast or full bright sun.
    We number the hives on the stands from west to east, west being #1 hive on down the line.
    She has already recorded the history of the hive, was it a swarm, split or nuc. where the queen came from and such.
    On the inspection visit she will record things like brood patterns, amount of honey left from winter or stored so far depending on the time of year. She records stuff like temperment which also depends on the time of year and what we are doing. She also keeps records of how much honey we pull off when we are pulling supers and how much is or isn't capped.
    She has a record of the amount of frames we pull for nucs and if the colony has been split at any time.

    She also keeps a seprate note book on each and every swarm we collect where it came from and went(yard). In that book you will find removals also.
    there is another book filled with the names and address of persons who have bought wax or honey from us so we can send out invites to the fresh batch of honey and wax for sale.

    :mrgreen: Al
     

  3. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    We've been using notebooks but it isn't working so well for us. It helps us to keep track of the most basic information, but I can see that the time will come soon for us to find a more organized and easier to manage system of some sort.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Someone posted a link to this site on a local forum. It may help with what you are wanting.

    http://www.beetight.com/
     
  5. Monie

    Monie New Member

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    I use beetight all the time. If you have a lot of hives, up to 1000, it's worth the $15 per year! I think the free edition only allows 6 hives. It tracks weather, time, date, brood pattern, pollen, honey, supers, apiaries, queen cells, origination of hive, origination of queen, splits, combines, varroa drop, tasks, notes, and on and on. It's a great program! Check it out! Oh, it even has barcodes for each hive!
     
  6. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Wow, that's a lot more than I was even planning to keep track of... I was mostly just trying to keep track of all the hive equipment, and basic strength of the hives.

    Now I'm curious as to how some of that helps you...
    For example, while I can see some benefit from knowing the date of the visits, but what do you gain from knowing the time of visit, air temp and amount of sun during the visit to the bee yard?

    I hate using a service since if the service company ever goes out of business, they'll take your records with them, which is why I'm building a database for myself.
     
  7. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    Time of day, air temp, weather conditions go a long way in the history of a hive. Say for example in 2008 March 27th the air temp was 57F with a bright sun and you saw bees bringing in natural pollen.
    Then in 2009 the air temp was only 47F, under over cast skys you get a feeling for why the bees are not doing as well as the year before.
    By the way our 10 year adverage date of first seeing the girls collect natural pollen is March 28th here.
    Yes that is in the record keeping books.

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  8. Monie

    Monie New Member

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    On that site, you can select which features you want and which you don't. Set it up to suit your needs.
     
  9. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Wow, So this undertaking of mine has been absolutely brutal... I've found that I have accidentally duplicated the ID numbers on 3 different pairs of frames so far, and two hive boxes... UGH. Once I get this all sorted out I'll be in a much MUCH better position to keep track of everything.
     
  10. specialkayme

    specialkayme New Member

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    I've tried keeping a notebook, but I get lost in my own organization (or perhaps lack of it). I get confused as to if I need one page per visit, or one page per hive, or just do it like a journal style . . . I just get lost in the options. If I do one page per visit, then I get lost as to what the actual hive has done, as I end up flipping back 20 or so pages to try and find out where the queen came from. If I do one page per hive, then when the page gets full I have to go to the end, and I end up flipping through 20 pages to find where the first page was. All in all, it just doesn't make me feel comfortable.

    I tried beetight as well, and didn't like it. My hives are over an hour away, so usually when I check up on them I make mental notes as to what I did, the state of the hive, and so on. By the time I make it home to put the information into beetight, I forget what was what. If I write it down to then put it into the computer, why should I bother putting it into the computer? I've already written it down. then if the site goes under, I'm screwed as I lost all my data.

    Plus, beetight is free for 6 hives. I have 8 at the moment. So either I pay $15 to keep track of 2 hives, or I just don't keep track of 2 hives. Either way, not very efficient.
     
  11. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    Has any one tried Burkes hive3 notes.
    Just write what you want on them and leabe them betweenthe interand outer cover.

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  12. specialkayme

    specialkayme New Member

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    I've heard of people writing stuff on the inner covers, but I always switch my equipment around too much, and would end up getting confused.

    I've never heard of Burkes hive3 notes. Have a link with some more info?
     
  13. Monie

    Monie New Member

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    With the $15 you get more options. You can pick and choose what you want. Honey harvest is included. It really is a great program and worth the $15 per year.
     
  14. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    While I like the simple format of beetight, it unfortunately doesn't have the options I'm looking for from my recordkeeping. When I eventually migrate it to SQL I'll show it to you to see what all I track... and why.
     
  15. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    There's a new site, "Hive Tracks", that looks easy to use and has no fee or hive limit. The URL is https://www.hivetracks.com/.

    There's a "test drive" option so you can play with the site to see if you like it before you sign up.

    Walt
     
  16. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    No links to Burkes Hive Reminders alone but there is a link to a discussion about them.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/archive ... 94830.html

    You can buy them from W.T. Kelley.

    Hive tracks looks OK but again you would need WIFI so you could use the lap top at the out yards. If you kept notes on the lap top and transfured them extra work.

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  17. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    Al, right you are. I think, if you don't have wireless, that's the problem with the computer entries. With a couple of hives, remembering the info for entry isn't too bad, but with a bunch of hives writing the information and then the redundant entering would get old real fast.

    Reminds me of when computers were becoming available (yes, I'm that old...I even used a slide rule), people were using them as simply a glorified typewriter...writing on paper, transfering to the computer, printing out. :roll: We were trying our darndest to figure out where the advantage was; we knew there must be one, after all, it was a computer, and it didn't fill up a room! :D

    Finally got it figured out.

    Walt
     
  18. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    I remember walking into a radio shack store where I was knowen for batteries I bought there.
    Fellow tried selling me an RS80 computer. I asked him what I would do with one of those things. He said PLAY GAMES. I declined as I didn't have time to play games.My first computer was a discounted commador 64 because the 128 had just came out.
    I used that 64 to keep house hold records with a finace program. the kids used it with all the learning programs we bought for them to use. funny how they would read stuff on a screen from the computer but not the books.

    I just would like some thing like a word program I could use in the field to do the recording. In fact I think if I couldget Kare to stop useing the note books word would work some what.

    :mrgreen: Al
     
  19. mhenson

    mhenson New Member

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    Hi All - I am the founder of Hive Tracks ( http://www.hivetracks.com ) a FREE on line database for beekeepers. Hive Tracks is more than just website, its a powerful computer application that lets you enter any number of yards and hives, track your inspections, meds, feedings, weather and much more. Hive Tracks is new. We are adding new functionality to it weekly. If you want a simple (and fun) way to keep up with your hives, try Hive Tracks.
     
  20. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    hi mhenson, The primary functionality I'm looking for out of record keeping software is the ability to track equipment, both in use and not in use and to track everything from hive boxes to individual frames... does hivetracks have that capability?