Keeping a Beekeeping Journal is a great way to monitor your progress but it is also a great way to record your beekeeping journey.
NC State Beekeepers Association suggest that you log the following items.
1. How much you feed your hives.
2. Hive brood pattern and how the queen is laying.
3. Treatment plan and alternatives.
4. Honey production.
5. Bloom Times.
6 Pollination Chart.
7. Repair of the hives.
8. Strong or weak hives.
9. When you put your supers on and take them off.
10. Might count.
As for me, I think any journal should have a format and a narrative. Of course, just like anything, there is a little evolution of necessity that happens. At first I started with the page you see at the top of this Blog. I use Avery Labels and print out my pictures – a picture is worth a thousand words after all. I always start with the date, then a narrative, then I like to say how many stings I got that day, then I add a diagram of my hives layout.
Since the first entry I have added in weather and a personal note. The personal note is a reminder. Some days I feel very defeated and I think, “How is this ever going to work?” Other days, I feel more positive and think, “It’s going to take time but I can do it.” Sometimes the note is even better:
Personal note: My heart was broke and I felt crushed. However, Jen (my wife) reminded me that even though I have had failures, we have still tripled our hives this year so far. She is my rock.
In years to come, I will look back at this early entry and remember that God blessed me with a wonderful wife, even back then. My point is, use your journal and make it not just a tool for improvement but as a reminder of where you started and how things have changed.