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Standard Abbreviation Code for BIBBA Hive Record Cards

Written mainly by Beowulf A. Cooper, the information on this page has been garnered from notes taken by myself and includes the fruit of several peoples experience of beekeeping records over the period between 1945 and 1970. Information has also been taken from a folded card guide published by BIBBA, that had the code number VBRC/7 and a similar folded card, also published by BIBBA, coded RC7 and dated 1978, which had an ISBN 0 905369 78 5.

The code of abbreviations was devised to assist precise data entry on to the columns of BIBBA colony record cards. The use of these conventions should enable any one person's records to be fully understood by any other reader.

Counting and Observing... If the facts are countable, eg. frames of brood, queencells, hive weight or number of boxes, enter the actual figure. A non-numerical observation should be entered by description, in code, eg. broodnest shape.

Estimates... Where the observation has to be estimated scoring should be on a percentage basis. Each vertical column is headed by a 'virtue', and the convention that Beo intended was that 100 marks would be awarded where the virtue is fully apparent, or 0 marks would be scored where it is wholly lacking, but many beekeepers actually simplify this by adopting a zero to nine scale or a zero to ten scale.

Disease... When at the hive side, one can only record general symptoms or suspicions, rather than the confirmed presence of disease. Scoring must be interpreted as meaning just symptoms or evidence of the problem in question, no more.

Only four states of severity of disease are recognised...
0where the trouble is absent (eg. AGO = no acarine symptoms seen),1 a trace seen,
2= a moderate attack is evident,3= a bad dose is noted (eg. AC3).

It should go without saying that sincerity is essential, all scorings must be scrupulously honest. By all means add to your entry why you think some item is not as you had hoped, but do not bias the scoring. If you do, you are only kidding yourself. The bees are not genetically improved by a faked, exaggerated or minimised entry. To do so will only mislead you, or others, into propagating or culling the wrong parent.

Before I list the codes themselves I must describe the "attention attractors". I personally never understood the need for these, as to my mind you should read all data thoroughly when making your assessments. However I will detail them for completeness sake.

fault (below a marking) = a major breeding fault - don't overlook. Enclose the marking and letter F in a bold square and enter a brief note in FAULTS box.
virtue (below a marking) = a major breeding virtue - don*t overlook. Enclose the marking and letter V in a bold circle and enter a brief note in VIRTUES box.
admixed bees (entered in RH margin of a day's entry) = admixed bees. Enclose letters ADB in a bold rectangle {for definition of ADB see list below}.

Where hive boxes are being noted the deep form is implied by the term (eg. N = National deep, NS = National Shallow).

The list below gives alternatives for some abbreviations, this is mainly because several systems were already in use before the standardisation was agreed upon and carried out. The list is extensive and some of the items may seem trivial, but they have been included for completeness sake. Some of the terms are only applicable in the UK because of the design of equipment available.

Where there are pages on this website that are relevant to the codes or descriptions the links will take you to the page concerned, which will open in a new window that will require closing in order to return to this page.

A = Adult
ABD=American Brood Disease = AFB
AC= Acarine (Acarosis)=TM
admixed bees= Admixed bees, a warning that stock will show indications at variance from what might be expected of progeny of the queen heading the hive, due to accident or manipulation, eg. adding brood, uniting, requeening switching hive position, swarms joining up. Some factors may show an intermediate state between those of of their constituents, or one factor (eg. PQN or Following) may override others. Repeat the entry until all the pre-admixture bees have died off.
AFB=American Foul Brood disease=ABD
AVM= Apiary Vicinity Mating
B=Brood (dropped in favour of B = broad for nest shape)
Bb=Brood box
bb=bees (plural of bee)(more than one 'b')
bk=bees killed
bbm=bees moved
BD=Broken Down
Bf=Brood frame
BF=Bees fed
BHB=Bald Headed Brood (bald brood)
Br=Brood (most recent implementation of the term)
BR= Braula (Braulosis)
BS=British Standard
BSLL=British Standard Long Lug
BSP=Brood Spreading carried out
BSS=British Standard Shallow
BSSL=British Standard Short Lug (Smith)
BTW=Bad Temper due to Weather
BW=Bad Weather (at the time)
BWP=Bad Weather previously
BZA=BenZaldehyde Applied
C=Capped brood
CAC=Cool Air Clustering=CWC
CB=Chalk Brood
CBA= Clearer Board Applied
CDB= CDB hive (Congested Districts Board Hive)
CHB=Chilled Brood
CHbb=Chilled bees
Com=Commercial or Modified Commercial (a UK hive type)=MC
CQ=Clipped Queen
CTC=Comb Tops Cleaned
CUL=Cultured Queen
CV=Comb Varnishers
CW=Cold Weather (at the time)
CWC=Cold Weather Clustering=CAC
CWP=Cold Weather Previously
CWW=Cold Wet Weather Now
CWWP=Cold Wet Weather Previously
DAM= Drone Assembly Mating=DCM
DCM=Drone Congregation Mating=DAM
DB=Drone Brood
dB=dead Brood
dbb=dead bees
DCL=Drone Comb Lacking
DCS=Drone Comb Surfeit (superabundant)
DDO=Drones Driven Out
DLQ=Drone Laying Queen
DV=Division of stock carried out (splitting)
DW=Double-Walled hive
EBD=European Brood Disease=EFB
EFB=European Foul Brood=EBD
EL=Eggs and Larvae seen
ELC=Eggs, Larvae & Capped brood,     I have also seen... ELS denoting Sealed brood
ELCM=Eggs, Larvae, Capped & Emerging Brood,   I have also seen... ELSE 'Sealed' brood + E
EMQC=Emergency Queen Cell
ENR=Early Night Runners
EQC=Empty Queen Cell (after emergence)=QCM
fault =Fault !     Beware !
F1=First generation offspring of a P1 queen
F2=grand-daughter of P1 queen
F3=great grand-daughter of P1 queen
FAN=fanners (roarers)
FBO=Foul Brood Officer
fd or fdn=foundation
GCL=Ground Clustering chilled bees
gwr=good, but with reservations
GT=Gone Through (as in full hive inspection)
½GT=partly Gone Through
Hf=Hoffman frame(s)
HTO=Honey Taken Off
HW=Hind Wing
KW=K-Winged worker bees
L=Larvae (in brood context) or Langstroth (in a hive or frame context)
LC=Larvae plus Capped brood=LS
LCE=Larvae, Capped brood and Emerging brood=LCM, LSM, LSE
LCM=Larvae, Capped brood and Emerging brood=LSM, LCE, LSE
LDF=Long Distance Followers
LH=Left Hand side (sometimes LHS)
LS=Larvae plus Sealed brood   or   in a hive or frame context = Langstroth Shallow
LW=Laying Workers
M=eMerging brood
MB=Midges Biting
MC=Modified Commercial (a UK hive type)=Com
MCS=Modified Commercial Shallow (box or frame)
MD=Modified Dadant
MDS=Modified Dadant Shallow
mef=metal end frame
MQ=Marked Queen
n=normal broodnest shape (spherical)
N=National (or modified National) hive
N/2=Half National hive (5 frame nuc)
n/3=Third National hive (3 frame nuc)
NMU=Nucleus Made Up
NR=Night Runners
NS=National Shallow (box or frame)
nuc=nucleus hive
OP=Opened, but examination not completed
P1=Parent (queen mother) of F1 generation
P2=grandparent of F1 generation
P3=great grandparent of F1 generation
PAB=Pollen Above Brood (upper arc only)
PBB=Pollen Below Brood (upper and lower arcs)
PC=Perforated cappings
PIB=Pollen In (amongst) Brood
PQN=Peak Queencell Number=PSN
PSN=Peak Swarming Number (max number of queencells produced)=PQN
QFAX=Queen Found Above eXcluder
QFBX=Queen Found Below eXcluder
QC=Queen Cell (occupied)
QCC=Capped Queen Cell=SQC
QCE=Queen Cell with Egg
QCL=Queen Cell with Larva
QCM=eMerged Queen Cell=EQC
QNS=Queen Not Seen (although looked for)
QPAX=Queen Put Above eXcluder
QPBX=Queen Put Below eXcluder
QQ=more than one queen present
QX= Queen Excluder
R=Robbing in progress (in an apiary)(either way)
RAC=Robbing Another Colony
RBA=being Robbed By Another colony
RH=Right Hand side (sometimes RHS)
RO=Robbed Out
S=Scattered (brood pattern) ('Shotgun' brood)
SB=Sac Brood
SDF=Short Distance Followers
SM=Smith (BSSL) hive
SMS=Smith Shallow box or frame
SP=Spray Poisoning
SQC=Sealed Queen Cell=QCC
SUP=Supersedure (under queenright conditions)
SWG=bees switched (this stock gains bees)
SWL=bees switched (this stock loses bees)
SW=Swarm (or have already swarmed)
t=tall broodnest pattern
tb=top box
TM=Tracheal Mite=AC
TS=Till Smoked (then temper improved)
TWR=Till Warm air had Risen (then OK)
TWS=Till Well Smoked (as TS, but needing much more smoke to subdue effectively)
UG=Uniting done (this stock Gains bees)
UL=Uniting done (this stock Loses bees)
UQ=Unmarked Queen
virtue= Virtue !- Do Not Overlook
vg=very good
VJ=Varroa Jacobsoni (varroasis)
VQ=Virgin Queen
wbw=wrong beeway (bad bee space)
WML=Wax Moth, Large (Galleria Mellonella)
WMS=Wax Moth, Small (Achroia Grisella)
WW=Wet Weather
WWP=Wet Weather Previously
xl or XL=excellent
YSf=Yorkshire Spacer Frames

Some of the terms that appear in the above list are uncommon or have gone out of use in the time since the code was first defined and standardised, but they have been left in the list because they have been widely published in the past and some old record cards may still have such terms inscribed on them. The extent and detail of the terminology give an insight into the ordered Teutonic mind of Beo Cooper. I have a passion for completeness and detail myself and took part in many a pedantic discussion about some of the terms, the details of which are now long forgotten.

Originated... 19, to 25 June 2004, Additions...... 26 June 2004, Upgraded...... 29 August 2004,
Coding Standard 2004 Issue 2 
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