How can you improve your productivity with an inspirational beekeeping journal?
The Beezum Mobile Monitoring App includes a diary with a log book journal to take care of your bees.
Keeping a bee diary can be a useful tool for tracking and organizing important events related to your bees. There are several ways to keep a diary, including writing on paper, using an electronic mobile app from Beezum, or a combination of both.
One advantage of a paper diary is that it is easy to use and does not require additional learning. However, an electronic diary, such as a mobile or web application, can offer more convenience and organization. This is because it allows you to easily browse your records of bee colonies. You can also automate certain entries, such as weather notes or the weight of the hive, using an electronic diary. In addition, you can check your diary history on your mobile at any time. Allowing others to use the Beezum mobile app to view information about your bee colonies on their mobile phones can also be inspiring for your family and friends.
Combining a paper diary with electronic records can provide the best of both worlds. In addition to taking notes and drawing in a physical diary, you can also benefit from the organizational advantages of an electronic diary. In addition, a well-maintained paper diary can have sentimental value and serve as a valuable resource for future reference.
Do you have more than one apiary?
If you have more than one apiary, create an extra diary for each apiary, otherwise, you may find it difficult to keep track of them. For each apiary, you can mark its details, such as location, weather, altitude, or anything that might affect the hives.
Create a list of all your apiaries in your mobile app and name them by location.
Create a hive for each bee colony
Each hive has its own type and dimensions. In different hives, bees behave slightly differently, although the most important thing for them is the overall internal dimension of the hive. Everything else in the hive adapts. Information about your queen and age is important to know.
List and identify all your bee colonies
We recommend that you number the hive so that you can easily identify it in your diary. If you prefer names, feel free to name the hives, but nothing prevents you from having the hive number marked somewhere on the hive. You must also write the same number or name on the voucher, otherwise, you will confuse them over time.
You can number and name your hives. Do you identify the names with 001, 002, 003, etc… they are most easily listed in that alphabetical order.
Record a log on how bee colonies develop over the season
You can have a quick overview of the status of all your inspections. Good to know when planning your next inspection and to have in mind before opening the hive.
To make an inspection and save in the log book
Each inspection gives you more information and insight into how your hive is developing. Being able to go back and quickly see history is valuable in case there is an indication of a problem or you need to fix something.
Date and time of the inspection
It is important that you know when the inspection was carried out, both the date and the time. Bees behave differently in the morning, during the day, and in the evening. It is also important to know the date – without the date, information about the inspection is useless.
You saw the queen in the hive – Yes / No
Eggs – Yes / No
At the inspection almost always check whether the queen is laying eggs. In that case, she must have been there at least three days ago.
Open brood – Yes / No
The amount of open brood gives you the best information about the health of the bee population and its future. If you see dried or dead brood, there is definitely a problem with the bee community. Finding just some open larvae during the season is a signal that something is happening with the queen.
Covered brood – Yes / No
The quantity and quality of the covered brood give you information about the condition of the queen. If you see a continuous area of covered brood, it is definitely in good condition. If you find many free cells among the covered cells, it is a sign that there is a problem in the hive.
The strength of the bee community is your note on the stage of development of the bee community as a whole. The relative strength of the bee population also changes during the year. During a long winter, even a strong bee colony will occupy about 4 frames, as they are in the winter cluster. Their numbers drop from summer to around 10,000 individuals. During the rest of the season, when the bees are not locked in the cluster, it is sufficient to make the following note:
Weak – bees occupy max 4 frames (Langstroth Original)
Medium – max 8 frames
Strong – more than 8 frames
Temperament of bees
Calm, neutral, aggressive
Open queen cell
Yes / No
Closed queen cell
Yes / No
Emerged young queen
Yes / No
Just note the number of honeycombs – this will help you decide when to extract the honey. If you have a scale weight, you can read and estimate this figure from the weight of the cup.
Number of frames occupied by bees
You count the frames around which bees are visible in the aisles between the frames. This figure tells us about the total potency of the bee colony
Be sure to write down exactly how you dealt with any problems that might arise. You will then be able to find out why.
Just note how many whole frames you extracted from the hive. If you have many hives, and only know the total weight of the extracted honey in kg, divide it by the number of hives.
There’s always something extra you want to note down. If it seems important to you, make a note of it.
First inspection of the season is important
The first inspection of the season is good to keep track of. Has the bee community survived the winter? In what condition is it? Indication of any probem? Do you need to give them extra food?
At harvest time, it’s a good idea to note how much you take from each hive.
It’s handy to keep already with how many frames you harvest from your hive. It’s also good to know how much to feed your bees for the winter.
Maintenance actions and when they were done are good to keep track of. When did you do treatments? When did you feed the community for the winter?