So many people write off hive records as a waste of time, and overlook the many advantages which their precision can bring, both in management and in the breeding and conserving of strains of bee. But they can only be of full value if you have enough drive to maintain them through the year, are reasonably methodical and intend to use them at a later date.
A simple means of keeping records is using a brick on the roof of each hive.
By means of positioning it on different parts of the lid and different angles, the brick can tell the beekeeper the most essential facts- supers required-queenless-normal-short of food-sick-and so on.
A Hive Tag that is sent out with queen bees from BICKERSTAFFS when pinned to the crown-board can provide a simple record of a queens background.
Pocket note books and record cards are popular but suffer the disadvantage of deteriorating outside in changeable weather, and are apt to become illegible unless transferred to another medium.
Today we have available BIDATA a database program specifically developed to use in beekeeping,for both normal hive recording and queen breeding.The purpose of the software is to make hive note writing simple and efficient, and to assist the beekeeper in judging the various qualities of the queens based on notes taken throughout the bee year.
Records can be maintained, from notes taken at the hive, and later entered into a computer,as well as allowing the use of a Palm PDA to do the job.
The software was developed by Jorn Johanesson a Dane who has now made it freely available.
The software is set free and you just need to add the following two pieces of information to make it into a 10000 hive software :
name to enter: Free Software
number to enter: 260984025
To download the zipped BIDATA software click here
To download the zipped Palm software click here.
If you need WinZip click here.
To download BIDATA help PDF click here.
For advice on assessing colonies click here.
For advice on numbering hives click here.