Tools and record sheets that we find useful

Apidea in/out cards

Taking Apideas out after three days in the dark sounds straightforward until you forget when you put them in the dark. The in/out cards aim to make this foolproof – by having the corresponding ‘in’ and ‘out’ days printed on each side.

When you put the Apideas in the dark, find today’s in card, flip it over so that it shows the corresponding out day, and place it on top of those Apideas.

Instructions are given for printing using either a single-sided printer or a duplex printer. For extra durability, laminate the resulting printed cards using a simple document laminator and A6 laminating pouches.

Apidea inspection records

We have tried a number of different record sheets for recording the subset of hive inspection information that is appropriate when using Apideas. We have concluded that there is no single perfect record sheet, so here are two examples to try out.

Remember that for each of these sheets, the intention is that you start a new line of records for an Apidea when it is first established, and then each time it is recycled.

Version 2 – status check boxes with notes for up to six inspections: Overwrite the ‘date’ headings with the inspection date, record notes for that inspection in that column.

Version 4 – status & date focus, without individual inspection notes.

Whilst v4 is much more explicit about what has happened and when, our preference is for v2: it is simpler, and we still like to be able to note tasks and any incidental observations at each inspection. Generally six inspections are enough for each queen cell cycle.

Grafting calculator

This simple slide-rule type of tool allows us to double-check availability on both grafting and moving-on days for a batch of queen cells. It works in both directions – from grafting date to moving-on date, or from moving-on date back to grafting date.

This is best printed on a heavier weight of card. Very often laser printers have a manual feed at the front and a bypass exit door at the back that can be opened to allow the use of card of 200gsm or heavier – check your printer manual for specifics.

Follow the instructions on the sheet to cut out the main slider and make slits in the page.

Establishment checklists

These checklists are shown on the clipboard illustrations in Chapter 3 of Using Apideas and are available here to print and use.

You may find these helpful in physically ticking off equipment and steps required for establishment, particularly when setting up Apideas for the first time.