Beekeeper’s diary is one of the tools which enables beekeepers to have insight into what’s going on in their hives. By logging beekeeper’s diary neatly and on a regular basis, beekeepers track the colony’s state and health. They can get rid of diseases and parasites, if any, and directly influence the amount and quality of honey. Read HERE why logging beekeeper’s diary is mandatory. If you’re still unsure about how to log your diary, keep reading . We will single out the most important items each beekeeper’s diary should have.

What Should Your Beekeeper’s Diary Look Like?

There’s not a singular answer to this question. Some beekeepers use a plain notebook and pen for logging and in time everyone develops their own tracking system. Others log their observations into a mobile app, which has a pre-made layout and structure, with pictures for easier navigation. This also helps save time. Some beekeepers write down information directly on hives, or on pieces of paper which they put on hives. Another way of logging is by using bricks. Of course, some beekeepers use bricks to prevent wind from lifting the top off the hives. But other beekeepers use bricks to signal the situation in the hives. For example, a brick layed on its largest surface signals that everything is ok in the hive, a brick layed on its side signals a problem in the hive. This system usually varies from one beekeeper to another.

So, there’s no such thing as THE single best way to log beekeeper’s diary. There are only reliable and unreliable ways to log. Naturally, the least reliable logging is marking the hives directly. But a app, containing all the information about hives, since their creation, gives the most security and keeps all your data safe and secure on your e-mail address.

What you should regard as a priority when logging a beekeeper’s diary is tidiness and meticulousness. The most important thing is to log information regularly and be dedicated to it. And if you lose your notes, that’s s if you never had them? Isn’t it? Feel free to experiment until you find a system you can easily follow, in order to finish every inspection quickly without disturbing the colonies too much. When you do something on a regular basis, it easily turns into a habit and becomes a routine.

What kind of information should you log when doing an inspection?

Your observations about colonies and the situation in hives depend on many factors. You’ll certainly have have the most note-worthy observations during your first annual spring inspection. Healthy colonies do not call for frequent and detailed inspections. It’s enough to throw a glance into the hive. It’s important to keep in mind that every inspection poses a stress for the colonies, and it’s very important not to stress out the bees too often. So, refrain from opening the hives frequently, unless there’s a specific situation.

The most important thing before you start logging beekeeping diary is hive marking. You can log hive numbers into the corners of your notebook pages and log observations for each hive. There’s usually a bird’s eye view of the hives in mobile apps, which can help you navigate easily.

What Should You Pay Attention to When You Lift the Top off Your Hives?

The history of the colony:

  • The decent of the hive – natural or artificial
  • Date when the hive was created
  • Location of the hive

The stadium of the colony:

  • Did you take out a swarm
  • Did you add or subtract
  • Did the colony receive food
  • When did you collect honey
  • When did you install the parent grills

Observations about each hive:

  • QueenBee’s age
  • The strength of the hive
  • Could the QueenBee start a new swarm if needed
  • Are there frames full of honey in the hive
  • Did you add polen
  • What does the swarm sound like
  • What smell is coming out of the hive
  • Are there any dead bees outside the hive
  • Are there any diseases and did you use any medication
  • General observations, changes
  • Weather conditions

Even though it is important to log detailed information, logging beekeeper’s diary shouldn’t take up too much time. You won’t log all these items after each inspection for sure. For example, the decent of the hive or the date when the hive was created isn’t going to change every time. It only takes 20 seconds to write your observations into your beekeeper’s diary. If you multiply this with fifty hives, it’s still not a lot of time. You can make a table or a template where you could log information important at that moment if you want to save time. If you are looking to go a step further and facilitate your job completely, we recommend installing a mobile beekeeping app. Apps make your diary transparent and meticulous, which saves huge amount of time. Logging information on the spot can be impractical, because of the gloves and the suit beekeeper’s must wear. Here are some tips how to deal with this:

  • You can ask someone to log your observations in the diary (if you are using an app, even people who are not skilled beekeepers could do this)
  • You can memorize information in a particular order and write it down later
  • You can record a video or audio of you saying your observations out loud, and then write them down.

If you are a skilled beekeeper, we are sure you’re already aware how important beekeeper’s diary is. But, if you’ve recently taken up beekeeping, we recommend experimenting until you find the most suitable way of beekeeping. To begin with, you need will and discipline, and soon you’ll come to see how much easier your job is, thanks to beekeeping diary. Efficient beekeeping will save you time and money and affect how much honey you get.
A pen and paper are always available, but we recommend you take advantage of the digital age and download Beeqos beekeeping app. We guarantee you’ll save a lot of time because a template of the journal was already made for you. All you have to do is input your observations and enjoy beekeeping.