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The Benefits of Keeping Hive Records

Why Keep Hive Records?

Recording your beekeeping journey serves multiple purposes, aiding both your memory of what actions were taken with specific hives and knowledge about how those actions played out.

When I started beekeeping, I kept a journal, jotting notes after each inspection. This habit, however, lasted just one season. For the next decade, I neglected hive records. Now, I'm back to it, aiming to understand colony behavior within The Keeper's Hive better.

My new method isn't journaling; it's as simple as filling out a line on a chart and jotting a few notes after each hive inspection. I document whether the colony is queen-right, if I spotted the queen and if she's color-marked, I assess the bee and brood populations, note the colony's temperament, record the number of frames in a Demaree, track the addition or removal of honey supers, conduct mite counts when necessary, and document any relevant interventions.

Check out my current 4x6 note card format for record-keeping:

So, What Have I Learned?

  1. Proactive > Reactive: Being proactive in hive management yields better results than reacting to problems.

  2. Learn from the Past: When hive issues arise, reviewing records from the last two inspections often reveals the root cause of observed problems.

  3. Convenience Matters: Placing hive records under the hinged roof in a plastic sheath allows for easy access. I check them before removing the observation window, update them, and then close the roof. This simple practice keeps my records complete and useful.

If The Keeper's Hive simplifies your work as a beekeeper and makes it more enjoyable, you're more likely to keep it up. While I may not be the most meticulous record-keeper, you can always flip open the hinged roof of my Keeper's Hives and find the record note card, allowing me to quickly brief you on the colony's history.

Give record-keeping a try and see if both you and your bees benefit from it. You won't know until you try! 🐝📖

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