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Thread: Queen Marking

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Upstate SC
    Posts
    27

    Post

    Caught, clipped and marked several queens today. Used the Testers paint pen purchased from a well known supplier. My first time with this! Looks like a couple of the queens got a bit messy - a little on the wings, spread down the thorax some, too. I should have practiced with the drones!!! So . . . thoughts on whether they are going to die?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Post

    I've been there...done that. In one case, I simply threw the queen to the ground and did her in myself...thought I'd save the bees the trouble.

    Suffocation is always a possibility if you get paint in the spiracles (openings of the trachea). If she doesn't suffocate, the bees will most likely superceed if there's too much paint on her.

    One year we received similar looking queens from a very well-known, and highly respected breeder. The queens were clipped too closely and had so much paint they looked like they were wearing little red jackets. I knew they wouldn't make it...and they didn't.

    I'm a reformed paint pen user. I use the small jars of ENAMEL Testors paint. Acrylic paints don't seem to offer the same quality of opaque coverage. Felt tip paint pens usually have extremely thin paint that floods if you forget to blot it first.

    Mix the paint well with a tooth pick. Replace the lid and give the jar a quick shake. Remove the lid from the jar and keep it (the jar) away from the area where you are marking queens. Workers have a habit of getting into the paint.

    Dull the lead of an ordinary pencil until the end is flat and is approx. 1/16" in diameter using sandpaper. Dip the pencil lead into the small amount of paint remaining on the LID. This is the perfect amount of paint to use, and the pencil lead makes a perfectly round mark.

    I can honestly say I've never damaged a queen using this method and there are more color options.

    I usually stick to the international colors, but there are times when I've marked special queens with unusual colors for specific identification purposes.

    And yes...practice on drones first until you get the hang of it. They're soft and fuzzy and require just a little more paint on the thorax, but you'll catch on quick.

    I experimented away from my bee yard by marking the drones from specific colonies with different colors. After marking them, I'd release them to return home. Sure enough, they knew just where to go.


    Regards,

    Jim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,946

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    I've seen them live with a little too much smeared, although I didn't think she would. But it can kill them.

    I use a pen. I do test it on the hive lid first to make sure I have the correct amount of paint. Then after putting the paint on, I wait a full 10 seconds for it to dry while gently blowing on it. I've let them go too soon and the queen smeared it with her legs trying to get the paint off.

    Yes, practicing on drones is the way to go.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Langley, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    413

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    I use a pen.

    uni POSCA- Bullet Tip Medium Line fade and water resistant.

    Terry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

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    I use a paint pen like described above. I guess I have a pretty steady hand, because my dots are ....dots!
    Dale Richards<br />Dal-Col Apiaries<br />

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

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    What is Testers paint? What is a source?

    I've used the felt-tipped paint pens that Papa brought in from work, but don't have any more and don't know where to buy more. Any ideas?

    WayaCoyote
    WayaCoyote

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Langley, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    413

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    TESTER'S MARKING PEN that is available in dozens of different colors. Tester made the fast drying enamel paint that is used to paint model airplanes.

    Terry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

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    So . . . thoughts on whether they are going to die?

    My thought is they will be live long and prosper. I've gotten paint on the wings, and the abdomen and head before. They turned out ok. Probably yours will too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Upstate SC
    Posts
    27

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    Thanks for the thoughts and encouragement!

    Did a quick check this afternoon on the queen that got the bad paint job. Wow! Is she easy to find. All that blue paint on her thorax - and those wings, mostly blue on the inner half. Anyway - she was scurrying around doing the queen thing. Hope she will keep it up.

    Thanks again . . .

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

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    I use the little Testor's Micro-brushes. They come 5 to a pack and will leave a nice little round dot of paint on the thorax. I never had a problem picking up the queen and never practiced on drones or whatever. The queens I did last year with flourescent green are still easy to find. I have some bright blue Testor's enamel for this years queens.
    Banjos and bees... how sweet it is!

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