I just received some queens, from a well known breeder & they are painted yellow(2002),I phoned him & asked him about it he acted like I was dumb, wanted to what the problem was.when I told him that red was 2003 by Inter-code,he asked on who's bee,sound to me like he's as dumb as I am.said they painted Their bees different colors to keep up with what breed they are selling you,so I guess I'll have to change my way's & the rest of the world's way of doing thing's to fit his.so now i'll have some queen's that I'll have to mark the hive box's to know that they are this years queen's,no I think I'll just pinch the queen's I got today head's off & loose that $100.00,but there is one thing for sure is I'll never spend a dime with that!#@#@$^% again,boy that felt good,. Mark
I'd be a bit upset also but don't think I'd go as far as pinching their heads off.
Like you said, make note of the fact that they are marked wrong and wait a few weeks.
You can then apply the correct color and
all will be well again.
I know there is an international color scheme, but I have not noticed anyone here in the US paying any attention to it. I follow it when I mark my own queens, but I figure you just have to keep track in your records or, as honey house suggests, remark them.
Michael:I know what you are saying,it's not a problem on a small scale with just a few hives but what about on a larger scale,when the world is going on a color code & then have to change because of 1 breeder I don't feel it's right.It made me wonder because I did'nt order alot, did he just send me what he had on hand to fill an order or what? I've talked to some breeders & they all seem to be getting low on queens because of filling package bees orders.the queens I got seem to be very large for young queen, which if they are young that's good,IF,,they are young.It's the same as if I start selling queen's, to paint them all blue because that's my favorite color.If everyone done it won't that be a mess? Mark
Most of the breeders I've bought queens from do change the color every year. It's just that they don't pay attention to the international standard. Of course this adds to your problems. You can always order them not marked and mark them. But that's more work.
Of course your other concern seems to be IF this is a fresh queen or a year old one. Unmarked probably wouldn't be helpful, but then if you ordered her unmarked and she came with last year's color...
For my own operation the color codes really don't matter. Marking makes it easier to find the queen, and helps determining if she has been superceded. I don't think I'd ever take the time to find the queen and her color just to determine her age. Book keeping or marking the hive is much easier.
But if it's a problem for you, remark this time and check with the supplier next time to see what color they mark with so there will be no surprises.
[This message has been edited by tarheit (edited April 04, 2003).]
"I got seem to be very large for young queen, which if they are young that's good,IF,,they are young"
Now I think I understand better.
You just might have received year old queens.
In my experience,it takes a while of continuous laying for them to fully extend.
I don't ever recall gettting a fresh queen that was extended.
I see your point and I'd be looking for another breeder.
But still I'd use them and see what happens.
If they work out great if not then
summer queens are cheaper.
All the queens I have purchased from a commercial breeder, have came marked the color corresponding with the last digit of the year.
Just my experience.
Your lucky you found queens this year.
There are lots of breeders out their, don't put up with any BS, find another supplier.
I would have to agree with Honey House, thinking that maybe you got last year's queens. In 15 years of ordering marked queens from a handful of different breeders, I have never recieved one marked with the color other than the one corresponding to the current year. just my 2 pennies.
I don't mark queens anymore other than for breeders. The queens in question,could they not be last falls young queens wintered over? I find such queens to be superior (not always) to spring queens. But then again how would one know this....... I think it would be rather cheesey for a supposed reputable breeder to be selling year old queens. But it may be that they just marked them the wrong color. But more important than any color marking is the queens performance. Check this out before any squishing.
Clay: this is Mark,I'm in Ms.on another one,s computer,I'll be over here for a few day's working bees,but I wanted to respond to you about marking the wrong color,I phoned them (breeder),& he said ( don't know if I was talking to the owner or who.)anyway he said that was the color they use to keep up with the diff- breeds they carry,He also sounded like he did'nt know about any Inter- color coding,also he was very smart with me ,I,ve gave these Queen's away,but I'll still be able to check on their pefor-,
This all sounds very unproffesional. I could forgive the wrong color marking and remark them (assuming they truly aren't old queens that is). But poor customer treatment is bad for business. One doesn't need to be wise when explaining things if using a different color coding method. I'd take my business elsewhere. Also would ask up front if they use international color marking so if the wrong color one would have some recourse to fall back on if they were the wrong color.
my experience from last year with b.weaver in texas was ,i bought several varieties of queens from them each type was marked a different color.it helped me keep track of them.i don't know who you are talking about ,but these folks have been nothing but nice and helpful,and their bees are nice too.i also agree with clayton,watch your queen and decide if she is good or not,an area beekeeper told me that his best hive had queen that was 7 years old.
I've been watching this thread for the last few days and I would also like to know who the seller was. I think in my own mind that if he sold you last years queens,and he is trying to give you answers that are not quite clear than I wouldn't want to do business with this person again, and it would help others not to due business with him either. In my experience I have traveled from N.C. to GA, just because I got great treatment and needed something in a hurry. If the guy just told you that they were last years queens, it might be a different story.
Just my 1/2 cents worth.
The purpose of the color is to indicate
age, not variety. In your case, hoosierhiver,
this different system works to your advantage for this first year.
You already know the age, assuming you bought them all the same year. Now what happens this year when you order X more of variety Y queens?
Seems to me it could get rather confusing,
Is this a 2003 queen or an Italian????
Maybe we should start glueing on colored disks with letters on them!