Log of Colony-Management Activity
Students will maintain a log documenting observations and managing procedures every time they work a colony of bees. This could be their own hive, the colony they work with their mentor, or any other hive they are allowed access to. Ideally the log covers 12 consecutive months, at a minimum one entry a season for four consecutive seasons. There are numerous ways to document maintenance activities. Although the student will choose the format for the log, the log should document specific information that includes the following:
- Date and time of day
- Weather conditions
- Observations: e.g., brood pattern, bees bringing in pollen
- Notes of actions taken: e.g., mite counts, medications given, and feeding (what and how)
- Notes about what needs to be checked, considered, or brought for the next visit
- Notes of anything unusual or unexpected: e.g., too many drones, aggressive bees, and so forth
- Questions to consider, research, or ask of mentor
The student is encouraged to bring his/her log to each meeting with the mentor to provide an opportunity for the mentor to review the log and provide additional guidance. The log needs to be submitted as part of program requirements. It will not be graded, but it will be checked for completion by an instructor or other Oregon Master Beekeeper Program committee member.
Mentors can assist with suggestions and examples of log entries. Students who are technologically inclined may keep a log online with Hive Tracks (www.hivetracks.com). Records from Hive Tracks may be printed out and submitted with other completed materials when applying for Apprentice Beekeeper certification.