In July 2013, I attended the NCSBA Summer Conference at Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst/Southern Pines, NC.
One of the presentations was by Dr. Larry Connor presenting on Resource Management. Somewhere I have my notes from that conference, but the thing that stuck with me was his discussion about writing on the tops of the hives instead of making notes in a notebook. There are definitely things that I note separately — mite checks, treatments, splits, requeens — but I’ve been writing on the tops of my hives every since. I talked to Dr. Larry at the spring conference in South Carolina and told him I was doing this. He uses lots of short hand notation, but I tend to be more whimsical in my notes. NSQ is no see queen. EOQ is evidence of queen (meaning eggs and/or really tiny larva), Q cups – no eggs means that I am seeing queen cups but there are no eggs in them, so maybe they are emergency queen cups. Most of the time I don’t worry about it, but it’s something I care about during swarm season. The happy face means the bees and the beekeeper were happy that day. I use a sharpie pen to write on the hive tops, so I always have a few in my pocket.
After a month or so, the writing washes off or just fades out. So mother nature takes care of space allocation for me.
BTW, Dr. Larry is also the owner of Wicwas Press which is a great place to buy good beekeeping books.