This week I was going to cover record keeping. Thankfully I received my May edition of Bee Craft last week and discovered that our Editor, Claire, has written a two page article on record keeping and the importance of it!  You can still get a copy through our website here or if you want to subscribe for a full year you can do that here.

So, while I am not covering the detail of record keeping, over the years I have picked up a few abbreviations that I thought I would share with you to speed up the essential art of recording what you see, or don’t see. They are pretty obvious but it’s one of those things you may not consider until someone points them out! It is easy to create your own abbreviations if you prefer but these can get you started.

QS or QNS (Queen Seen or Queen Not Seen);
QM - Queen Marked. QMC - Queen Marked and Clipped;
BIAS (Brood In All Stages - meaning eggs, larvae, sealed brood). If you don’t see all stages, just record what you do see and on how many frames;
QC - Queen Cell, SQC - Sealed Queen Cell; and how many/what you did about them.

Make a note of what your colonies need at your next visit, and how many, so you can arrive next time with the correct items:
DC - drawn comb, BF - brood foundation, BB - Brood Box, S - Super , N -Nuc box, QX - Queen Excluder, F - feeder and syrup/fondant.

When you insert varroa treatment ensure you write down what you have used (if strips, how many) and after you finish your inspection, write down the date when the treatment should be removed and pop the date on your Bee Craft calendar at home.

If you have more than one colony ensure you do your notes immediately, before going on to the next one. Trust me, you won’t remember which had what if you don’t!

If you need a good clear place to keep these hive records, as I have said before, take a look at our Multipack Apiary Guide. This contains record cards and many other useful pages of information all on laminated/wipe clean sheets. Or draw up your own record sheets in a format you prefer, or simply maintain a notebook.

Until next week - 

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