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  • In the past, my efforts at keeping good records of my inspections haven't exactly been a great success. I started off with a mini notebook which I recorded the details of the inspection in - counts of frames with brood, stores, queen seen, eggs seen, varroa count, etc. The small physical size of the notebook made it difficult for me to write in whilst wearing leather gloves, so I had to try to remember the details during the inspection and write them down afterwards by which time I would have forgotton how much brood and how much stores I had seen. I then tried just using a sheet of A4 paper which I could scrawl on and transfer to a better record later, but that wasn't too satisfactory either - the pen kept rolling off and dropping to the ground.

    This year I've bought a mini whiteboard from WHSmith - it's a bit bigger than an A4 sheet of paper and came with a dry-wipe pen (featuring a magnetic lid, so that helps to keep the pen from rolling off!) and two magnets which may or may not come handy some time. I'm scrawling notes on the whiteboard as I go for later transfer. So far I'm finding it much easier than either the notebook or the A4 paper.

    What do you use?
    • I commit to memory, but then I only have two hives, then fill out a home made sheet with tick boxes, this keeps the words to a minimum. This will be hard when I expand the number of colonies this year so I reckon your idea sounds good. I did wonder about a voice recorder triggered by speech, that way you could keep the listening time to a minimum. There must be an app for my phone out there.....
      • I only have one colony at present however my memory is appalling so I always forget quite how many frames with brood and frames with stores I saw. I've thought about writing a phone app, but controlling a touch screen phone whilst wearing gloves for beekeeping strikes me as being somewhat of a non-starter.
        • In the past, my efforts at keeping good records of my inspections haven't exactly been a great success. I started off with a mini notebook which I recorded the details of the inspection in - counts of frames with brood, stores, queen seen, eggs seen, varroa count, etc. The small physical size of the notebook made it difficult for me to write in whilst wearing leather gloves, so I had to try to remember the details during the inspection and write them down afterwards by which time I would have forgotton how much brood and how much stores I had seen. I then tried just using a sheet of A4 paper which I could scrawl on and transfer to a better record later, but that wasn't too satisfactory either - the pen kept rolling off and dropping to the ground.

          This year I've bought a mini whiteboard from WHSmith - it's a bit bigger than an A4 sheet of paper and came with a dry-wipe pen (featuring a magnetic lid, so that helps to keep the pen from rolling off!) and two magnets which may or may not come handy some time. I'm scrawling notes on the whiteboard as I go for later transfer. So far I'm finding it much easier than either the notebook or the A4 paper.

          What do you use?
          • Just downloaded "smart voice recorder" for android. I'll try it next time and keep you posted.It seems to work ok, it's free, it's just a matter of how time consuming it is in playback.