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Thread: Marking Queens

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Council Bluffs, IA
    Posts
    127

    Default Marking Queens

    So, first time beek here. Getting my first package within a couple weeks. Queen will not be marked. Should I mark her before I release her? If so, can I just pull the hardware cloth off the side of the cage and mark her? Will I need any special tools, other than the queen marking pen? Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks.
    Chad

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,034

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    I mark all my queens (well I try to be on it ). It's helpful especially for a newbie while your queen-finding radar is developing. However it can be a little intimidating for the new beek too: you REALLY don't want to injure her. Your book and mentor can show you the drill, or look on YouTube. Practice on drones.

    Or don't mark, it's easy! Your colony won't swarm the first season so you'll know it's your queen still in there (most likely, they could supercede).
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Weatherford,Texas,USA
    Posts
    450

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    I forgot to ask for mine to be marked and wanted to mark them terrible bad,but chickend out at the last minute. Do what is suggested and practice on drones, they can sting ya and its not that big of a deal if you kill them. Good luck
    Jason
    "It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!" Zapata

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dexter, Missouri USA
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    I mark mine so I can tell their age and if they've been superseded. I like to keep track of their genetics. I catch them by their wings with my right hand. ( don't wear gloves of course) transfer her to your left hand and grasp her between thumb and forefinger on the thorax, with the middle finger for support under her legs if needed. Grab the prepared pen with your freed right hand and come up behind her with the pen at an angle away from her. I've had some I came strait down on and she felt the pen with her antennae. Not good. Only one way to learn though......
    Last edited by Whitetail; 04-02-2011 at 03:39 PM. Reason: Spelling, clarification

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Council Bluffs, IA
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    Yeah...my bee supplier gets em from california. For $93 per package you'd think I could get my queen marked....but they can't do it I guess. I may try...but am leaning towards just requeening next year with a marked queen. Not sure what Ill do yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Cass County, MO
    Posts
    448

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaseemtp View Post
    they can sting ya and its not that big of a deal if you kill them. Good luck
    Jason
    Jason ment they "can't sting you". My kids play with them all the time. The don't have a "stinger". Just wanted to make sure you knew that.

    I have marked some queens (8?) last year. It's not to hard.

    Like Jason said practice on drones to get used to your equiptment. My biggest problem was too much paint came out of my pen twice and went places I did not want it (wings, head) It was an equiptment error and I will not use that pen again. I used a stem of grass dipped in the blue pen paint to finish the queens I had to mark.

    RKR

    PS it's kind fun to see a few of the drones you practiced on running around for awhile.
    4 seasons 19 Hives-Camp Branch Bee Ranch. Est 2009
    "I am a nobody; nobody is perfect, and therefore I am perfect."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,144

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    Personally I don't think you should try to mark her yet. Wait till later in the season, & see if you feel confident enough to do it.
    I marked my first two last year. After I had a full year under my belt. One was really over marked fortunately the bees didn't kill her. The other one came out better.
    Dan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,928

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    If you cannot pay the dollar or two to get her marked, you should just leave her alone. It is very easy to damage her permanently. If you grab her legs or abdomen, if the paint goes into the sphericles, if she is injured in the process, you have wasted her.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dexter, Missouri USA
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    Very true AmericasBeekeeper. You can easily damage her legs or abdomen. You can easily get too much paint on the tip of the marker too, and get it where you shouldn't. I've had good queens superseded from beginners error. If you don't have a definite need for marking, you might just leave her bee. it's definitely safer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Freeland, Washington, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    You can mark your own easily enough. I use a marking cage and have yet to harm a single queen. You just have to be gentle and fast.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,502

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    I mark mine so I can tell their age
    Why not just mark the hive with the pen or just write the date on the hive box.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    Agree do not try to mark her if you are a newbee. Wait a few years. THen practice with drones. THey CANNOT sting you, they can only sting another queen.
    When you are ready to try on the drones, pick up by the wings with your right hand, then grasp the legs in your left hand. (if you are right handed), THen take your right hand and pick up the marking stick, dip in paint, and mark.
    You can injure or kill her so many ways. So practice. Do not get paint where it doesn't belong or that will make the bees kill her.
    After you have marked her, put her in a cage for a few minutes so the paint can dry.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Council Bluffs, IA
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    Its not that I can't afford the dollar... its that its not available from the guy I'm buying from. I bought late in the year, as I'm just getting started and didn't know I had to order so early, and he said its not possible. Unfortunately.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,142

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    The most important thing is to buy NEXT year's color and practice on drones with next years color. Then use THIS year's color when you mark your queens. Do enough drones that you're comfortable with it.


    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenrearing.htm#colors
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenre...m#Queenmarking
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Weatherford,Texas,USA
    Posts
    450

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    sorry for the confusin, I meant they can not sting you. After reading this post I went out to the hives for 2 or so hours and caught drones and marked them. The bad part was I used this years color so I have a ton of drones with white dots on their backs. It was a great learning experince, but i am still to chicken to try and catch and mark the queen.
    "It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!" Zapata

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,110

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    What can you use if you don't have a Bee marker
    is it Model Paint ??

    Maybe I'll air brush a few

  17. #17

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    Model Paint works fine. If I remember right this year is white.
    David
    My-smokepole
    http://www.davidspaintingandwallpapering.com"

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    Yes testors' model paint is what I use. Just shake up the bottle and then there is enough paint on the inside of the cap lid. I just use the end of a weed, like a timothy stem if I am only marking a few. If you are doing a lot you can drill a hole in the cap and insert through the cap, which works really well because you can wipe off the excess as you withdraw the stick.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    727

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    Queen bees should be left in their most natural state possible. Clipping wings and painting her make her look "physically challenged" to the rest of the hive. The less done to them the less of a chance of their being supercedured. It's not worth the trouble. Learn to find her and be done with it. There must be research on this somewhere. OMTCW

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,034

    Default Re: Marking Queens

    OTOH, if she's not marked you'll not know if she HAS been superceded . Marking is the only way to know, and I've had marked queens last years. May people operating public observation hives mark to help the public find the queen. Yes one must learn to do it, but I don't think the data or collective experience would support marking as increasing supercedure risk.

    Clipping might be another matter, but it seems to be a nearing-obsolescence practice anyways.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

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