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Hi guys, anybody using software to keep records, or just pen and paper

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I used a purchased hive diary book one year, but found it didn't have enough pages for each hive (okay for a hobbyist), so I did a page up on my computer and printed enough off for each hive. Each page was enclosed in a snaplock bag and left under the lid of each hive. As I got more and more hives I found this method cumbersome, as I had to take each page out of the bag to write on and then put it back in the bag each time. I now use a notebook, which I write in, for each apiary.

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I just use excel.  I decided what I wanted (evolved) to what I have.  I print out a condensed page for my whole operation (40 hives) and then I enter it into my computer at the end of the day.

 

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I've looked into various software for record keeping but our staff prefer notebooks. I use excel spreadsheets for things such as dates in and out of pollination, where they came from and went to, then what honey sites they go to and where they return to for wintering, also mite control  but apart from that our whiteboard at the honey shed works really well.  We write on the lids for anything that needs requeening or to watch and new queens are written  on the front of the hive. Why change what works. 

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Just starting to expand and getting to the stage where you can't remember all hives in all sites. Also want to build a bit of record per site offer several years. Yes my notes to date are disgraceful and I want to fix that. I know software will only work as well as the data you feed it. Just want to know who relys on what and how it works

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For us a rock on the lid means it's queenless and needs checking, a stick means we think the queen is failing and it needs checking.  Other than that we have our own coding system written on the box. First letter is site name, second is hive number.

An exceptional hive is marked with a+ or big bertha. If it's a spilt it has parent hive details until the next honey season. 

 

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I run a hive book ......  starting with the  Spring round. Date of visit, number of total hives, number of dead and job done..... syrup fed, strips, cells etc.The yard also gets graded on a scale of 1- 5 for strength. It moves on into Supering round, The Big Escape ..... and there's several pages at the back for movements to track where yards have come and gone to. I don't keep individual hive records.

When I was a corporate we had a real smart program on the I phone ..... recorded site GPS, photos ,date and as much else as you wanted to put in.  I think Hive Tracker now have something similar.

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We have 3 teams and the managers run paper dairies grading sites for strength, flow, shifting, disease and pest and anything else needed recording. 

We run pallets and the pallets are constantly being equalised so that makes it a bit easier when the pallet is graded as one colony.

direct issues are written on the mat.

this season we have our own tags and can scan brood boxes and supers with the work phones for traceability. 

Next season we will be recording all manipulations on that software, who worked it and what was done.

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If youre handy with a computer you can cobble something together in programs like FileMaker quite quickly, with fields added/subtracted as needed. Eg tick boxes for various checks, date fields that auto fill on record creation, GPS locations, image storage, calculated fields (eg strips to come out on x date) etc. Mobile version available.

 

Rolling your own isn’t for everyone and comes with its own risks and pain points.

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We run hivetracks app base 

Like it but it has a few hick ups which they are working on 

can see the yard when they finish working and have cell coverage to upload the data 

 

 

 

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We use a schcool book that is folded in four length way down the page which gives you 4 columns in each page, so when the book is open out fully you get 8 colums, the first one is the site names and the rest are the a week, so we have 7 weeks across the double page. Take two lines for each yard and you can get a lot of abbreviated info on there. You also get to see what week you last checked that site.when back at the shed transfer info to white board. That’s how easy it should work, BUT when you get to site without a pen/pencil or one that doesn’t work, you say you’ll remember till you get to shed, but that’s bloody useless, so you tie a piece of string around your finger to help you remember what you have forgotten, so the worker says why don’t you write it in a note book, and the circle keeps going.

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Software? 

Hard back lined lecture book.  

I keep the info of each site visited within 2 lines (or there about) one line is better. 

So on any given day I start the the date, then the sites down the page and info across. 

That way I keep everything in chronological order and I can easily revisit last entries because I can fit weeks worth within a few pages.  I keep asking myself  "what information is useful to note down?"  and I still put too much in .  And it gets messy when I try to keep it tidy- like starting school all over. 

I use a click pencil - can write if a bit damp.  

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A spreadsheet with the sites listed in a column, then in columns across a general area eg for each site hive numbers, nuc numbers, last visit, then a section for Varroa and treatments, then a section for Splits, swarm control, re-queening, then a section for Honey, a section for Feeding, and a section for Gear needed or on site.  

 

At the end of the day, info goes into the spreadsheet.

 

On site for nucs I write on the side of the lids eg a date and Cell in eg Virgin eg Mated, and on the hives I write on the side of the lid if an issue eg date eg 6/4 VQ for Virgin Queen or F for Formic etc. I don't write anything if everything is fine/normal.  I try to deal with what is in front of me, not worry too much about what has happened before...

 

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Collins notebook A5 96lf one double page for each apiary a special page at the back for average production, number of hives, AFB et cetera and two double pages with all apiarys with months divided into threes. One for varoa control and the other for feed and supering. It's worked perfect for over 50 years so why change. I've never had any trouble with the Collins notebook, it's not cheap but it doesn't full of bits like the cheap versions.

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We use a school exercise book one for each area and a seperate book for honey season.

If something is needed next time we visit it’s highlighted in the book so before we go out to that area again we check to see what extra stuff we need to take be it a queen or a replacement box etc. 

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I was expecting more use of software. I prefer paper, but was not expecting that there would be so little use of software.

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I couldn’t think of anything worse than coming home after a hard days work in the bees and then having to sit down and do a heap of paper work filling in a spreadsheet :( 

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2 hours ago, Hannes said:

I was expecting more use of software. I

propolis proof hardware might help the adoption of technology.....once remote area broadband becomes standard.

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2 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

I couldn’t think of anything worse than coming home after a hard days work in the bees and then having to sit down and do a heap of paper work filling in a spreadshee

 

It's pretty bad if you're caught by the Taliban!  I am with you though - I barely have the patience to give pencil and paper a few minutes at end of site. 

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3 hours ago, Hannes said:

I was expecting more use of software. I prefer paper, but was not expecting that there would be so little use of software.

 

Information gathering is only any good if you can actually access/use it later on.  Most of us don't need to account for every kilometer travel led, liter of syrup fed, time spent in yard... Just the basic info that's easy to access and relevant.  Long live simplicity. 

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16 minutes ago, Lindaloo26 said:

Long live simplicity. 

Amen. Look out window, both front doors busy....:IMG_0380:

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23 hours ago, Lindaloo26 said:

 

Information gathering is only any good if you can actually access/use it later on.  Most of us don't need to account for every kilometer travel led, liter of syrup fed, time spent in yard... Just the basic info that's easy to access and relevant.  Long live simplicity. 

21383

have a read you have to keep record for four year 

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nuc;s get one stone if theres a queen, two if eggs or brood,

all hives  recorded this time of year, all box numbers recorded, state of hive, stores, etc, all in a little note book,

would like some thing like a chip or bar code that can be scaned when boxes taken off, frames removed, any movements made,

Edited by kevin moore

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