Useful Tool

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Marbees, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    When purchased my first bees, back in 2010 I opened a file titled "Apiary Notes".
    I would write day, time, weather condition when installed my nucs, did splits, requeened the hive, treatments, feeding, everything that was important, or I thought it was.:grin:
    I would write it down together with my observations. Reading it later helps you in planning next season, comparing, making better decisions. I found it to be a very useful tool in my beekeeping journey.
     
  2. clinch

    clinch New Member

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    Thanks Marbees. As simple an idea as this is, it's not something that is often mentioned in books on beekeeping. Keeping a log when doing hive inspections, nuc installations, etc seems like an excellent idea. Does anyone else have any tips for this? What are some of the other things people look for and jot down?
     

  3. Larus

    Larus New Member

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    Good records are never a bad thing. And I think Marbees has the right idea - if you think it's important, then it's important enough to write down.
    I am a big fan of databases and having a system for your data entry. That's why I like hive inspection checklists and the HiveTracks website (www.hivetracks.com). The checklists help you remember what details to look for and what to write down, and keeping records on HiveTracks instead of on paper lets you organize everything into a computerized database.
     
  4. dr.buzz

    dr.buzz New Member

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    I like to keep a spiral going, new one every year. I can draw diagrams of the yard, hives get lettered or numbered on the diagram, and codes can be written like S/D for supered with drawn comb or S/E for supered with empties (if I used plastic Piercos I call them empties instead of "foundation.") I can note if I found and marked the queen, whether brood was found in the top box, bottom box or both, how many frames of stores are left in the Spring, etc...

    This can get confusing when I do splits, especially if I swap position of two hives temporarily or permanently. Then the notes in the margin get scribbled like, "Colony K, which is now between colonies B and D was switched with Colony C." I never know if I should then rename them then. So after a while the spiral starts to get confusing, so I just take and duct tape a piece of white poster board to the underneath of the telescoping outer cover (or migratory cover in some cases) and keep pertinent info there. That way no matter where I move it, I can flip the cover over and read or write new details.

    But yeah, writing stuff down is a must. Otherwise you get to the end of a row and can't remember how many frames had open brood five boxes ago, etc...
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I do like Dr. Buzz does! :lol:

    I use a spiral for field stuff, transfer it to a monthly desk top calender for easy access and quick viewing, and lately trying a 3 ring binder for final notes on each hive.
    Too challenged to use a computor for this stuff. :oops:

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  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    another useful tool is a digital recorder with voice activation, (so i am not pushing teeny buttons). i can work the hives and record what i do, or what i see as i work. also, the fun part of a digital recorder, is recording the sound of a busy hive or if you are lucky, a queen piping.

    i use a calendar, and a journal every year, probably not as detailed as i used to, but i do keep track of weather, blooms, the electric fence, queens, pests, hive manipulations and management. i will also tape a piece of paper underneath the hive cover to make notes on sometimes. i don’t utilize the pc stuff, should, easier for me to go through my journals, as perrybee said, rather than the laptop, and easier to carry around.

    this year i managed to find a hardbound calendar/notebook, large notebook size. it has a monthly calendar for each month followed by a weekly calendar with good space to write short notes and in the back plenty of lined pages for additional details and diagrams. these are great to have to compare from year to year.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    with numbers the volume of notes you would need to keep can become a problem. I myself keep a journal to keep a tally of numbers, what was accomplished during the visit and any hive or circumstance that needs special attention (and typically materials) on the next visit. critical bloom dates and the arrival of the first drones (both sealed pupae and live) are important long term information in what I do here.