Keeping and tracking information about your honey production is very important. The reason is that it can insure you’re on track with harvesting and let you know whether your bees are doing well this year or not.
When keeping bees, our resident beeker Jason recommends tracking how many buckets you get from your honey harvest. He also suggests documenting the dates of when the honey was extracted. This information will help you in the future to see trends and verify that everything is on track.
For example, this year Jason was worried about the drought in Utah affecting his honeyflow. He thought that his bees were not on track, and he wasn’t going to be able to harvest much. However, after looking at his honeyflow and extraction documentation from previous years, he realized that his bees were actually doing fine and on schedule. Therefore, keeping information like this can help beekeepers to not pull their supers too early or too late.
Here are 5 ways you can track your honeyflow.
1. Keeping A Notebook
Sometimes writing information down is the best thing. Having a notebook and writing the information about your bees and honey production is one of the ways to keep track. We suggest that you write what month, day, and year it is. We also suggest you write how many honey buckets you got, and what bee yards or colonies you got them from. It could look a little like this.
2. Document With Photos
Jason, our main beekeeper at HARVEST LANEY HONEY, prefers to also keep track of his honeyflow by taking photos of what he wrote down. He suggests that you first write down the information of when it was extracted, how many honey buckets there were, and where they came from. Then take photos. Below is a picture of Jason’s honeyflow from 2014.
3. Keep Notes In Your Phone
Another simple way to keep track is to just write notes on your phone. One way you can do this is to open the Notes app and document your information there. As mentioned above, we suggest that you put the date of when you extracted, how many honey buckets you got, and where they came from. It could look something like this.
4. Use Voice Memos
Something that is another great tool on your phone is the Voice Memos app. This allows you to record information about honey extraction as well as any personal notes that you may want to put in there simply by speaking and recording your thoughts. Once again, be sure to document the date, how many buckets, and where they came from.
5. Excel or Google Sheets
Lastly, if you’re a numbers or stat geek and love Excel or Google Sheets, this is a great option to keep track of your honeyflow. It allows you to stay very organized, and you can easily sort, copy and paste, and create summaries or graphs. See below for a brief example of Google sheets of how you can use it to store information.
* Additional Suggestions:
Here are a few additional things that you can add to your honey flow documentation to give you even more data:
- Keep Track of How Much The Honey Sold For
If you sell your honey, adding information about how much it sold for is a great way to know how to price it for the next year. This data can also help you know what would be the perfect price for your bees and your work.
- Document What Honey Came From Where
Like the list above, it’s good to know what yards or beehives the honey comes from. It’s even better if you add how much honey was produced from each yard. One way we measure is by using 5 gallon buckets. There are other ways, like measuring the weight, or using other containment bins to measure.
- Personalize Your Notes
Keeping personalized notes about each beehive or yard is a great way to spot trends and identify what’s working or not. For example, if you saw something weird this year with your hive, or it was having some problems, add that information. This can help you in future to know what to expect that can affect the honeyflow.
Beekeeping is unique and there are so many ways to be successful with your honeyflow. What other tips or ideas from your experience might you suggest to help others improve and have an enjoyable experience?