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Honey Bee Colony Assessment Criteria

There are several methods that allow collection and collation of data on the behaviour of honeybee colonies actually in common use, two of which are BIBBA and Galtee. The BIBBA one is probably the longest established and goes into great detail.

The one produced by Micheál Mac Giolla Coda of the Galtee Group is one the simplest and to my mind the one most likely to be adhered to by those (like me) that believe records are important, but then do little about it. This method has worked for Micheál for many years and is the one I, at least, intend to follow for the rest of my beekeeping.

Chris Slade's cards are designed to fit into a Filofax and is about as simple as you can get without seriously compromising the idea, as any less columns would result in insufficient data.

The various behaviours mentioned in the data collection card systems are listed in the left hand column.
(A few of these pages are recent additions and may have little content as yet.) There are other behaviors that are listed along with most of these on the Behaviour page.

The record cards that are mentioned can be downloaded and printed along with various morphometry tools by visiting the Downloads page.

If you have an assessment system, let me know and I will add it to the list. The fact that different systems do exist does not mean that any of them are 'wrong' and others are 'right'. However it is important that features that can be bred for are used, rather than so many of the uninformed beekeeping books and speakers will say, "produce queens from the stocks that gather the most honey", which is a recipe for ill tempered hybrid bees and probably is the cause of the commonly heard statement and belief that 'angry bees are better honey getters' (which is not actually true). See the page Good honey croppers are not good breeding material.