The past couple years, I've found Michael Palmer's advice about record keeping very handy. As you learn and grow more successful as a beekeeper, you may find yourself going well past three or four hives and you'll start forgetting important details such as:
- Laying well?
- How much did it weigh last?
- Where did the queen come from?
- What day did it swarm?
- When did I create this split?
- Need to feed?
- Mite test results?
You could carry a notepad around with you, but you'll see how complicated that can be very quickly. And, there'll come that day you leave it at home or the dog eats it.
I trust this helps you as it has me. :)