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Keeping records

Keeping accurate records is good practice when managing honeybee colonies. It helps review the outcome of actions you’ve taken as a beekeeper, monitor the health of a colony, as a reminder what you need to do next when visiting a hive;  and is a requirement of applying veterinary medicines to combat varroa.

There’s many different ways of making records – each beekeeper finds a method they prefer. I use  A5 cards (e.g. A5 160gsm white card) and a layout added via an Inkjet printer. I put the cards inside an A5 plastic ring binder with cardboard separators. One binder I take to the apiary for this years notes (kept inside my “beekeeping travel box”); and I keep last years records in another binder at home. (Note: links are just for illustration – local supplier might be cheaper).

I’ve added a link to a PDF for any beekeepers that are interested. Print it out on to A5 card.
There’s one key-card to remind me of the record nomenclature to use (I attached this to the inside cover of the A5 plastic ring binder)

I number each colony (note: colony, not brood box – if I change the brood box I transfer the number to the new brood box).
For each colony:

  • A cardboard separator with the colony number on.
  • A cover card – that records the key events for each year (was the brood frame changed, queen age, honey yields and other comments)
  • An inspection card – with columns for key things to record and notes.

Hive Records PDF