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Thread: Queen Marking

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Oman
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    22

    Question

    Hi all
    I am pleased to share you posting in this great forum.
    Actually, I was planning to mark my queens, but the problem I have faced is that, I could not get any markers to do that job. Therefore, I thought to ask you if any of you have any idea about any substitute of known markers. I was thinking to use a manicure to do that job. So is this a good idea to do or there is a better way to do it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Blythewood, SC
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    I haven't been bekeeping that long but I have read posts here and talked to other beekeepers that say the bees supersede marked queens more than non-marked queens because the marking makes them look differant from the other bees.
    Hopefully you'll get some more info from more experienced beekeepers, but I just thought I'd pass on the info.

    Patrick
    "To escape criticism-do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Western North Carolina
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    I mark all of my queens. Not only are they marked but they are marked according to the international color code: Blue for years ending in 5 or 0; White for years ending in 1 or 6; Yellow for years ending in 2 or 7; Red for years ending in 3 or 8; and Green for years ending in 4 or 9. That way I know what I have (or supposed to have)in my hive.
    Paint pencils are available at the local hobby shop. These work quiet well. Most bee supply houses tend to carry darker shades which can make it more difficult to see on the dark bees .. the hobby shops have a variety of shades in the listed colors. No evidence or studies that I am aware of show any difference in supersedure rate between marked or unmarked queens. Without marking the queen (unless I clip the wing) how can I reliably make any statement about the colony ?????

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,316

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    >Actually, I was planning to mark my queens, but the problem I have faced is that, I could not get any markers to do that job. Therefore, I thought to ask you if any of you have any idea about any substitute of known markers.

    I buy enamel paint pens at the local hardware store. But you can use any enamal paint. It helps if it dries faster. Some people buy a small jar of paint and a round piece of wood (dowel) and cut a hole in the lid the size of the dowel. Then they can dip the dowel and the hole in the lid will scrape off the excess. If there is a big drop you can touch this to anything hand (hive, paper, something) and get the excess off and then touch it to the queen's back. Hold her until it's dry or the bees will smear it (if she doesn't).

    >I was thinking to use a manicure to do that job. So is this a good idea to do or there is a better way to do it?

    Fingenail polish doesn't seem to have much pigment in it. I never had luck with it.

    >I haven't been bekeeping that long but I have read posts here and talked to other beekeepers that say the bees supersede marked queens more than non-marked queens because the marking makes them look differant from the other bees.

    I mark all of mine. Most are two or three years old and have not been superceded.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    9,123

    Post

    If you have a hobby shop that has model building supplies the enamel paints they have work well. They even have latex based enamels now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
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    Great Michael!
    I drove all the way into town to the hobby shop only to be faced with the choice of enamal or acrylic. Unsure, I returned home. Looked at what I had, and have been planning to return to buy acrylic. Then you tell me that enamal works...
    So I guess BOTH works?

    ZUKIT,
    Since Michael uses enamal, I think that is what you find in manicure. I'm not sure what you'll find in Omar, but it sounds like the manicure will work for you. Just be careful you don't put too much on and smother her.

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,316

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    >I drove all the way into town to the hobby shop only to be faced with the choice of enamal or acrylic. Unsure, I returned home. Looked at what I had, and have been planning to return to buy acrylic. Then you tell me that enamal works...
    So I guess BOTH works?

    Don't know. I never tried acrylic.

    >Since Michael uses enamal, I think that is what you find in manicure.

    Really? I think fingernail polish (which is what I assume we are refering to) is something altogehter different. IF I were to try fingernail polish, I think I'd get some where the pigment has all settled and pour off half of the liquid to get more pigment. But then I've only tried it once many years ago and it seems like the fingernail polish just didn't have enough color to it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
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    Yes, Michael, I'm sure that is what he meant... what we call fingernail polish. The pen that Kelley's sold me is a paint pen marketed for decorating terra-cotta. It said "water-based acrylic." I'm not paint literate. So, I'm guessing that acrylic will work.

    Any idea if it's acrylic or enamel, anyone? And if he can use it, as he mentioned that as a possible alternative?
    WayaCoyote

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    211

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    Twink (paper correction fluid)is quite commonly used in New Zealand from stationary shops,has its own soft brushed cap.Normally in white,instant drying.Supersedure could easily arise from damaging the queen during carless marking.Some beekeepers here use a very soft sponge to hold the queen during marking.There are marking cages and coloured numbering discs also available.
    BOB

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
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    1,858

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    FWIW, I use the little jars of model paint. I give the jar a good shake and open the lid. (and yes, that order is critical).

    I took a pencil, sharpened it, then simply "wrote" with it on a piece of fine emory cloth (sand paper) until the graphite was worn down to the wood. You have a nice, flat circle about the size of a queen's thorax.

    When I mark my queens, I dip the flat end in the lid. You don't need much paint! The lid gives me just enough paint to mark the queen.

    And, BTW, I bought one of those "plunger" queen marking tubes with the mesh ends from the supply catalogs. They revolutionized my marking skills. You can secure a queen and keep two hands free.

    And I've not had any known problem with supersedure because of paint.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
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    Grant,
    would the model paint be acrylic or enamel? or either.

    Neat trick with the pencil.
    I like my plunger ok, too. but I don't get the same "touch" with it. It is hard for me to tell how much pressure I'm applying with it. So I use less than what I think I can. She crawls some and spreads the paint.

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
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    4,397

    Post

    If you haven't tried the Brushy queen muff or something similar, I highly recommend it. I marked newly mated queens this weekend, very flighty, and nobody flew away.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Post

    The model paint I use is enamel. I have no clue if it makes any difference. It was what my local hobby shop had for sale.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

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