You can make a diary and records in paper form, electronically or in combination.
What to note into your diary?
If you have more apiaries, create an extra diary for every apiary, otherwise you will get lost in it. for each apiary, you can mark its specifics, such as location, weather, altitude, or anything that might affect the hives.
I recommend numbering the hive so that you can easily find anything in the diary. If you prefer names, feel free to name the hives, but nothing prevents you from having the hive number marked somewhere in the corner. You must also write the same number or name on the hive, otherwise you will confuse them over time.
Each hive has its own type and dimensions. In different hives, bees behave a little differently, although for them the most important is the overall internal dimension of the hive. Everything else in the hive bees adapt.
Date and time of the inspection
It is important that you know when the inspection was done, both the date and the time. Bees behave differently in the morning, differently during the day and in the evening. It’s also important to know the date – without a date, information about the inspection is worthless.
You saw the queen in the hive – yes/no.
During the inspection, I almost always check to see if the queen is laying eggs. If so, she must have been there at least three day ago.
The amount of open brood will give you the best information about the health of the bee colony and its future. If you see dried or dead brood, there is definitely a problem with the bee colony. If you find a little open brood during the season, it is a signal that something is happening with the queen.
The quantity and quality of capped brood will give you information about the condition of the queen. If you see a continuous area of capped brood, then it is definitely in a good condition. If you find a lot of free cells among the capped cells, it is a sign that there is a problem in the hive.
The strength of the bee colony is your note on the developmental stage of the bee colony as a whole. The relative strength of the bee colony also changes during the year. During a long winter, even a strong bee colony will occupy about 4 frames, because it is pushed into the winter cluster. Their number dropped from summer to about 10,000 individuals. During the rest of the season, when the bees are not locked in the cluster, it is enough if you make the following note:
Temperament of bees
Calm, neutral, aggressive
Open queen cell
Closed queen cell
Emerged young queen
Just note the number of honey frames – this will help you decide when to extract the honey. If you have a scale weight, you can read this figure from the weight of the hive.
Number of frames occupied by bees
You count the frames around which bees are pushed in the alleys. This figure tells you about the total strength of the bee colony.
Be sure to write down exactly how you treated – if problems will arise, you will be abele to find out why.
Just note how many full frames you extracted from the hive. If you have many hives, just know the total weight of the extracted honey in kg and divide it by the number of hives.
There is always something extra you want to make a note of. If it seems important to you, make a note of it.
“To be successful, one has to be one of three bees: the queen bee, the hardest working bee, or the bee that does not fit in.”