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Thread: Queen Marking

  1. #1
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    Default Queen Marking

    Recently I have marked one of my queens using a paint marker. But unfortunately, some paint has covered the joint of the wing and body. So will that affect my queen’s productivity? Shall I replace it with another new healthier queen??!!

  2. #2
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    If she was my queen, I'd keep her and at least give her a chance. I've missed when marking queens before and kept the queens and they did fine.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  3. #3
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    I too have messed up and yet the queen lived. Long Live the Queen.

    oh, and once, the tip of my pen came out and I didn't know it. I painted her, my fingers, and my jeans red before I knew it. She didn't live.
    WayaCoyote

  4. #4
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    Oct 2007
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    VENTURA, California, USA
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    Default I too have messed up and yet

    What kind of marker were you using to mark the queen?
    I have a Uni POSCA white Bullet Tip/Medium line that might be a good choice for marking queens.
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  5. #5
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    Most likely she'll be fine. You can get paint just about anywhere on her except her head and antennae. Paint an antenna, and forget about it.

    I never really liked those queen marking pens. Too clumsy and finicky for me. I'd rather use Testor's model paint...they have really bright colors, it's easy to use, and a $2 bottle will last forever.

    http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/f...scan0001-3.jpg

    Don't bother buying a brush. They grow all around your apiary. I prefer Timothy. Choose a grass that's stiff and thin. Almost...the thinner the better....up near the seed head is good.

    http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/f...scan0002-2.jpg

    Use the absolute smallest drop of paint that you can get on the tip. It spreads out quickly. I always wipe off any extra paint after marking a queen by rolling the "brush" on a cover, or my little table.

    http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/f...scan0005-2.jpg

    If you mark lots of queens, the paint in the bottle will thicken a bit. At that point it's harder to use, and drys more slowly on the queen. Buy a small bottle of Testor's thinner. Add a little, cover and shake. Back to new.

    The tinyest drop will spread out nicely on her thorax.

    http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/f...scan0005-1.jpg

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I never really liked those queen marking pens. Too clumsy and finicky for me. I'd rather use Testor's model paint...they have really bright colors, it's easy to use, and a $2 bottle will last forever.
    Agreed. I use a small nail, ground flat and embeded into a thin wooden handle.


    Mike, you're using a cell phone? Man--Vermont is getting pretty high-tech!


    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenbees.com

  7. #7
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    Default Varroa Mite?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Looks like a mite on a worker on the lower left. Yes?

    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenbees.com

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    Mike, you're using a cell phone? Man--Vermont is getting pretty high-tech! Adam
    Depends where you are. My mating yard is next to THE Vermont maximum security prison. You know there's cell phone service there. Entertainment, too.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    Looks like a mite on a worker on the lower left. Yes?
    Adam
    Old Eagle Eye Adam they called him back in the olden days.

    Yep, there's a few mites in the mating nucs. Not that it ever bothers the bees.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Lucas, TX, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer;3........................
    [url
    http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff61/frenchhill/scan0005-2.jpg[/url]

    If you mark lots of queens, the paint in the bottle will thicken a bit. At that point it's harder to use, and drys more slowly on the queen. Buy a small bottle of Testor's thinner. Add a little, cover and shake. Back to new.

    The tinyest drop will spread out nicely on her thorax.

    http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/f...scan0005-1.jpg
    How do you get the queen to stay still long enough to get the paint in the right spot? Do you put her in one of the small boxes in the "scan0005" picture? Where do you get these boxes/cages?

    You can tell this is new to me.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dindallas View Post
    How do you get the queen to stay still long enough to get the paint in the right spot? Do you put her in one of the small boxes in the "scan0005" picture? Where do you get these boxes/cages?

    You can tell this is new to me.
    Buy cages from Walter Kelley Co.

    To get her in the cage, I hired an Indian guy with a weird looking flute. He plays, they march right in. :-0 Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    For real...I like the queen to be walking right to left. Then, I can come up behind her with my right hand. Place your right thumb and fore finger together. Flat together as you can. Now, roll the tips toward each other. See how they would pinch...the queens wings? They do stick out behind her abdomen. So, if you roll your thumb/finger onto her wing tips, you can pick her up. She'll arch her back, and reach her legs out to grab something. Touch her legs to the comb, and she'll crawl away.

    Place her on the first knuckle of your left middle finger, and while still holding the wings, hold her thorax with your left index and thumb. Release the wings. Mark the queen. Blow on the paint to dry it. Pinch the wings. Release the thorax. Release the queen or place her head against the open cork hole on the cage, and boot her in the butt with your right ring finger, so she'll crawl through the hole. Add 6 attendants. Cork. Do another one.

    Never hold her by the abdomen. Some will faint, and once in awhile, die.

  12. #12
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    Feb 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Buy cages from Walter Kelley Co.

    To get her in the cage, I hired an Indian guy with a weird looking flute. He plays, they march right in. :-0 Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    For real...I like the queen to be walking right to left. Then, I can come up behind her with my right hand. Place your right thumb and fore finger together. Flat together as you can. Now, roll the tips toward each other. See how they would pinch...the queens wings? They do stick out behind her abdomen. So, if you roll your thumb/finger onto her wing tips, you can pick her up. She'll arch her back, and reach her legs out to grab something. Touch her legs to the comb, and she'll crawl away.

    Place her on the first knuckle of your left middle finger, and while still holding the wings, hold her thorax with your left index and thumb. Release the wings. Mark the queen. Blow on the paint to dry it. Pinch the wings. Release the thorax. Release the queen or place her head against the open cork hole on the cage, and boot her in the butt with your right ring finger, so she'll crawl through the hole. Add 6 attendants. Cork. Do another one.

    Never hold her by the abdomen. Some will faint, and once in awhile, die.
    What kind of flute was he playing???

    I read my post again and can appreciate the humor of my question. I know to more experienced beekeepers, this may sound like a silly question but I am still very respectful of the bees' defense mechanism (I don't like getting stung.) I don't have the confidence yet to get close to bees and work with them without a veil and gloves although I have tried the nitrile gloves without any problem.

    I found the following video - http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/queen-marking/ - which I think is a similar method to yours. I am not sure I can pick up a bee (intentionally) without serious damage to one or both of us. Do the queens allow you to handle them without stinging? I only have three hives so far and the loss or damage to one queen would be significant. Maybe as time goes on ......

    Thanks for the reply. I appreciate all of the information on this forum, in particular the pictures and videos that are shared. Until I gain more confidence, my queens may have to remain "naked".

  13. #13
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    Tip of the Thumb, Michigan
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    I gained confidence by marking drones.

    Choose a color from a couple of years ago (white or yellow for instance), and have at the drones. You'll learn how little paint you actually need. (READ: You'll drown a few drones getting the quantity of paint right.) And you'll learn how much pressure you need to keep them from getting away. (READ: You'll squash a few drones... but, they'll make more!)

    Over time, your confidence will grow, and you'll pick up the queen and dab her with just the right amount of paint. (Don't forget to let it dry!)

    Good luck,
    DS

  14. #14
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    if you want to cage here but not able to catch her, beeworks has the item for you. doesn't help you mark her though.

    http://www.beeworks.com/catalog/inde...roducts_id=130

    mike

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by dindallas View Post
    What kind of flute was he playing???

    I am not sure I can pick up a bee (intentionally) without serious damage to one or both of us. Do the queens allow you to handle them without stinging? I only have three hives so far and the loss or damage to one queen would be significant. Maybe as time goes on ....
    You know...one of those cobra climbing out of the basket flutes. :-)
    I didn't mean to tease or make fun, it just was a funny thought that struck me.


    I've handled thousands of queens this way. Never been stung yet. Queens instinct is not to sting defensively.

    Start by practicing on drones. When you can handle and mark drones comfortably, you can move on to queens. It really is a simple procedure. One caution. Don't cover her in paint. Don't get any paint on her head or antennae. A little dab will do ya.

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