When you’re a beekeeper, a lot of information comes your way. You need to keep track of your colonies, hive checks, equipment, honey extraction, and more. These printable beekeeping records will help you stay organized every year!
When we took a beginner beekeeping class six years ago when we started our apiary, the instructor asked an interesting question. “Do you want to have bees or do you want to keep bees?”
By this she meant that some people just “have” bees. They set a hive on their property and leave it alone until it’s time to harvest honey. This is a very hands-off approach and works for some beekeepers. However, you run the risk of swarming, disease, and other issues in the colony if you never check on them.
To “keep” bees means to care for them and check on them regularly to make sure they doing alright and to intervene if something goes wrong. Beekeeping takes time and hard work but the rewards are worth it.
Being organized, however, will make your beekeeping journey much smoother. No wondering if you have all the equipment you’ll need when new bees arrive. No worrying about when you should complete another hive check because you forgot when you did the last one.
Taking notes and keeping thorough records about your bees will make your experience more enjoyable. We often refer back to our records from previous years to remind ourselves of what steps to take when. I encourage you to keep your own records so you can be an organized beekeeper!
Printable Beekeeping Records
Today I’m sharing these free printable beekeeping records with you! My daughter, who has been keeping her own colony of bees for four years now, helped me create these and they work great.
There are seven pages to help you be organized throughout the beekeeping season. Print a new set each year and keep them in a binder so you can easily look back and see what worked and what didn’t from previous years. I hope you enjoy these!
Beekeeping Records of Hive Checks
This is the most important page of my beekeeping record book! Hive checks are the heart of beekeeping throughout the summer. They take quite a bit of time every seven to ten days but are key to maintaining a healthy, thriving colony.
Some important information to record at every hive check includes:
- Date and weather conditions: Of course, always make note of the day you complete each hive check so that you know when you’re due for another one. I also like to jot down the weather conditions and temperature outside. This is nice when looking back on previous years.
- Why you are completing a hive check: Is it a routine inspection or is there a special reason you need to open the hive up and take a look? Maybe you’ve noticed strange behavior with that particular colony and you want to make sure everything is alright. Record why you’re completing a hive check every time.
- Observations: Make notes of what you see during the hive check. Did you spot the queen? All stages of brood? Does the hive look healthy or are there concerns?
- What to do next: I always write down what we need to do next so that I can plan ahead. Most of the time, it’s just waiting until the next hive check. But sometimes, usually in the spring and fall, we need to remember to refill the sugar water, add or remove insulation or another important step.
It’s not very easy or even possible to take notes during a hive check! When we only have a couple of hives to check at a time, we can remember what we saw and did and I can fill out the information when I go back in the house.
However, if we’re checking several hives at a time, there’s too much of a chance information will be forgotten so I like to take notes then and there. My husband and one of our daughters always participate in hive checks so if needed, I will sit off to the side and take notes for them. They check the hives and tell me what they see and want me to record.
I print several of these Hive Check sheets, one for each colony. Usually, I will end up needing a second or third page for each colony as the season goes on. Print as many as you need to keep thorough records of every hive check throughout the season!
Beekeeping Equipment List
Beekeeping comes with a lot of equipment! It’s important to maintain all of it and keep it organized.
Having a list of all of your equipment will come in handy each season. When a new year rolls around and you need to prepare, knowing what you have on hand and what you might need to replace is important.
Some items to keep track of include:
- Brood boxes
- Honey super boxes
- Bottom boards
- Other beekeeping tools
You can read all about beginner beekeeping equipment in this post. Each season, your beekeeping supplies will increase so make sure you always know what you have and what you still need.
I like to keep track of how many we have of each item, whether or not we need to replace or repair any items that are old or damaged, and if we need to purchase any new items.
Beekeeping Records Honey Extraction List
Extracting the honey at the end of the season is the highlight of the beekeeping year! Our whole family works together for a busy day of honey harvesting. You can read all about how we extract honey in this post.
I always like to keep track of how much honey each colony yields. This is a great way to see how each colony did compared to the others. And it’s just exciting to see how much honey you get each year!
The printable will help you record how much honey each colony ended up with as well as space for any extra notes you might want to take, including the number of frames you extracted from.
Other Beekeeping Printable Records Included
- Beekeeper’s Calendar: With a section for each month, keep track of what will be going on during the beekeeping year. What month will new colonies likely be delivered? What month do you extract honey? Have a general overview of your plan for the year.
- Colony List: At the start of each new beekeeping season, I make a list of every colony. I give them each a number and record the location of the hive. Also, what breed they are, whether they were overwintered or are a new colony, and any other notes.
- Beekeeper Contacts: We have made many friends in the world of beekeeping! Having a list of all beekeeping contacts will make it quick and easy when needing to get ahold of one of them. Keep track of the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of those in your community who supply bees, sell equipment or tools, and are available to help you with any issues that may arise.
- To-Do List: A basic list to keep track of anything you want to make sure you accomplish as a beekeeper. Maybe you want to reorganize how you store equipment or sand down and repaint some of your hive boxes. Write it down so you don’t forget!
Bee Hive Records
I hope you enjoy your free printable beekeeping records! Be sure to print as many copies of each page as needed throughout the year. I like to keep our records organized in a three-ring binder, separated by year.
It’s very helpful to look back on old records if you forget how or when you did something the previous year. Keeping thorough records of your bees is an important part of being an efficient, successful beekeeper!
Click here to download these printable beekeeping records.