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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Mated/Laying queens can still fly -- that's what queen muffs are for

    Well, this morning I started by checking on some virgins that were due to be mated and laying. The first one was laying well and looked good, I snatched her by the wings and placed her in the plastic marking tube. I then used the foam plunger to hold her thorax in a plastic mesh opening, where I dabbed it with a small drop of white Posca, non-toxic, water based paint. I quickly released the foam pressure holding her in place, but still kept her in the tube. After about five minutes, while I am waiting for her paint to thoroughly dry, I check the other two frames in the 3-frame mating nuc compartment. Then, as usual, I hold her over her nuc and slowly remove the plunger and hold the open tube against the tops of her frames. Instead of just seeking the refuge of her nuc, she quickly takes off, it is easy to see her for a few minutes, she is very heavy with eggs and can hardly stay airborne. But, unfortunately she stays airborne long enough to elude me.

    Next, I go the the next nuc to perform the same status check, and ditto, the same thing happens. Now I think I've lost two queens. I'd better break out my queen muff and be sure to have a good grip on these queens so I can most easily ensure they go where I want them to go.

    Good news, I checked both nucs just before dark and miraculously both queens made their way home. I'm still gonna use the queen muff from now on.

    ---------------
    -- Mated/Laying queens can still fly.
    -- They can also find their way home (at least when they've only recently begun laying).
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    768

    Default Re: Mated/Laying queens can still fly -- that's what queen muffs are for

    I have tried a little experiment one time. I started chasing a mated queen with my finger. She flew off and circled the hive a couple times and then went in. The don't fly far from their hive. I never had an older queen fly when I marked,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,541

    Default Re: Mated/Laying queens can still fly -- that's what queen muffs are for

    Once you pick up the queen by her wings, why insert her into the tube contraption? Why not mark her while you're holding her? Then you can once again hold her by the wings and place her head down between the frames...down she goes. Also...your paint takes 5 minutes to dry? Testor's model paing takes only a minute.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Mated/Laying queens can still fly -- that's what queen muffs are for

    Thank you Michael Palmer, I had actually been marking them while holding them by the wings, but later noticed that much of the mark had been lost, so I was using the tube so the Posca paint would have time to dry more thoroughly. I believe I will get some of the Testors paint and try it out. I had been using fingernail polish, and now Posca markers. Do you use the Testors paint markers?
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 05-27-2011 at 01:18 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,960

    Default Re: Mated/Laying queens can still fly -- that's what queen muffs are for

    I think that newly mated queens (within 3 weeks or so) are more prone to flying. I think that they remember how. I don't think that I have never had an old mated queen (a few months old) take off on me while marking her, but while marking queens that have been mated for only a few weeks I have had several just take off. Most of them can't get more than 3-4 feet off of the ground and fly slowly and poorly, but still fly.

    I also use Testors paint.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,541

    Default Re: Mated/Laying queens can still fly -- that's what queen muffs are for

    No, just the small bottles.

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