Hive Records key
We base the format for our records on the BBKA hive keeping record system with our own extensions.
!↦ a surprising observation;
?↦ a doubt about some observation;
bf↦ broodbox frame;
sf↦ super frame;
_↦ unknown or missing data.
Q ↦ Queen observed
- Some queens will have a spot of paint to indicate the final digit of the year they were reared in.
b↦ blue (0 or 5);
w↦ white (1 or 6);
y↦ yellow (2 or 7);
r↦ red (3 or 8);
g↦ green (4 or 9).
c↦ queen clipped, that is, one wing is trimmed prevening the queen from flying any significant distance;
e↦ eggs were seen but no queen was observed, indicating the queen was laying three days ago or fewer.
QC ↦ Queen cells observed
There are several types, with different characteristics.
em↦ emergency cells, partly horizontal and partly vertical with a right-angle bend in the middle, produced in response to the sudden and catastrophic loss of a queen, an existing egg or larva less than five days old is fed with royal jelly and the cell is extended downwards to make room for the queen;
pc↦ play cups or queen cell cups, an incipient queen cell, in which an egg may appear, in which case you know the bees are planning something;
sw↦ swarm cells, entirely vertical, long, usually on the edges of the frames on the bottom bars or in the recesses on the sidebars, sometimes on the face, typically ten to twenty in number but might be as few as five or as many as on hundred, shows an intent to swarm and leave a new queen behind, usually around the time the queen cells are sealed;
su↦ supersedure cells, entirely vertical, usually on the face of the comb, usually one, or two or three grouped together on the same comb, intended to replace an existing queen who is no longer productive, for whatever reason;
d↦ drone brood, larger cells, often around the edges of the brood area, covered with a drone shaped cap;
e↦ eggs were seen.
cb↦ chalk brood;
efb↦ European foul brood.
V ↦ Varroa mites
Tem ↦ Temper
A number which describes the docility of the colony.
10↦ nice calm bees;
8↦ bees agitated;
6↦ bees sting;
4↦ bees that follow too much, etc.
2:1↦ 2:1 sugar syrup, with the weight of sugar shown;
suc↦ Fondabee or other sucrose fondant.
Notes are shown below each line after a
:: symbol. We also log the addition and removal of supers here, because at the moment it's a rather rare event. Symbols like
-½s record changes to supers in abbreviated form.