I have based my colony inspections and records on the teaching of Ted Hooper one of my mentors many years ago.
On the top line I record the apiary name, colony stand number and whether I have clipped or marked the queen.
Room. When you open a colony, the first thing to ask yourself is has the colony enough room. Having plenty of super space, especially early in the year reduces swarming.
BAS. This stands for 'Brood all stages'. Are there eggs, larvae and sealed brood? If you need reading glasses wear them and get good light over your shoulder to see eggs in the frame and the white smears of brood food around newly hatched larvae. This tells you the queen was present and in lay within the last three days. Experience will tell you how well she is laying.
BU/QC. This stands for Build up and Queen cells. Two separate things. Healthy colonies build up steadily and by counting the number of frames with brood on each inspection, you can sense the 'Build up' relative to other colonies and be assured of its good health or be warned that something is amiss. QC, if you see queen cells, as opposed to cups, then you know that swarm preparations are underway and can counter with 'Artificial Swarm' procedures immediately.
Disease. Reminds you to check the brood for disease and take appropriate action.
Stores. Is a reminder that occasionally colonies need feeding, even in summer! If I have taken off 'Oil seed Rape' supers, or I am establishing a nucleus or swarm, then feeding might help a colony.
Feed. I seldom feed colonies - leaving a super of food on whenever removing the crop, seems to be much more beneficial for the bees. If I do feed, I have a record.
These brief notes, often just a tick that all was well or needs super next, or 'Art' Swarm by 'date', help me prepare for the next inspection and have equipment on hand. It always pays to be one step ahead of the bees. How I wish I always took my own advice.
If you haven't used a record card, try my example. I carry them with me and find them very useful.
Ian McLean NDB
- Bee Candy
- A Volumetric Approach to Swarm Control
- Do drones need more energy than workers ?
- What is the Catenary HIve ?
- An Intrusion Into The Private Life of the Queen
- A Cheshire System of Beekeeping
- Artificial Swarming to make Increase
- Re-queening An Aggressive Colony
- Frames and Frame-spacing
- An Early Spring Tonic Part 1
- An Early Spring Tonic Part 2
- Something To Consider - Treating Hives
- Make up Of Honey
- Brainbox Bees
- An Inspector Calls
- The Laws Of Beekeeping
- TBS versus BBS
- Colony Records
- My First Season With Bees
- Integrated Pest Management Workshop
- BBKA Examination System
- Will Your Bees Survive this Winter?
- Anaphylactic Shock - What to do!
- Anaphylactic Shock - A Personal Experience
- Beekeeping Records
- L. L. Langstroth's - BEE-KEEPER'S AXIOMS
- Osmia Rufa
- Beginner's Corner - Out-apiary sites
- Beginner's Corner - Syrup feeders