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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Newly marked queens acting crazy

    Over the weekend we inspected all of our hives. During the inspections, we decided to mark any queens we found. I found one queen in the second box up and marked her and she looked fine. After inspecting the entire second box for queen cells, I lifted it off and inspected the lowest box which was mostly empty combs. When I lifted off the bottom box to clean the bottom board, the newly-marked queen was down on the bottom board and actually crawled to the outside of it before I herded her back in and put the hive back to together. During the short time between when I marked her and completed my inspection, she had dropped or been forced down to the bottom. Thought that was very strange.

    I found another queen a couple of hives later and marked her, inspected the complete hive and put it back together.

    Two hives later, when I lifted off the top box after inspecting it, I saw a ball of bees on top of a frame of the next box and it looked they were balling a queen. Sure enough, when I got them split up, they were killing one of my newly-marked queens from another hive. Obviously, she had flown out after I marked her and had landed on the other open hive. She wasn't dead and I put her back in the hive I think she came from but know she's probably doomed.

    Has anyone seen this happen? The newly marked queens acting crazy? I'm using a regular marking pen from one of the supply places and I couldn't detect any odor from the pen at all. The queen isn't injured after I've marked her and I let her crawl around enough to dry the paint. The paint isn't anywhere but where it should be on her. This is the first time we've tried marking queens and I was very happy with how easy it was. But it's not worth it if they flee the hive as soon as they're marked.

    Anyone?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,958

    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    I've never marked queens. But I am hoping someone can respond to this issue. I agree that is marking a queen is goign to chase it from the hive. that might be information that is helpful to others.

    Is it possible she got an odor on her in some way other than the marking pen? That is about the only thing I can think of.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,593

    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    The one queen may have fainted. I witnessed this once last year.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...light=Fainting
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    What are you using to mark them?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,347

    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    I have marked many queens over the past few years. I have once or twice had a queen "faint", seem to be dead or dying, only to revive in a few minutes. I have used several different brands of markers. I like to use ones with water based paints, and let them dry thoroughly before returning the queens to her bees.

    It may happen sometimes as you describe, though I haven't yet noticed. I do, sometimes, have virgins enter hives, other than their own. They are sometimes killed by the resident queen or balled by the workers there. And, sometimes they manage to kill the resident queen (if there is one), and take over as the resident queen.

    Marking is part of my process, I mark queens when they have begun to lay, and keep track of a colonies queen-state by marking it with colored thumbtacks. That makes it easier to know when any of these musical queen shenanigans has taken place. So, when I find a nuc with a marked, laying queen, when they should only have an unmarked virgin, I know that later I'll likely find one of my marked queens missing from her colony. Usually that would be a colony immediately adjacent to that affected nuc/colony, but not always.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    Thanks for the info. I can accept that maybe the first queen "fainted" and fell to the bottom. But it doesn't explain why another marked queen flew out and landed on an open hive I was inspecting and got herself balled.

    I'm using a water-based marking pen with no odor. I think I ordered it from Kelleys.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,623

    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    No paint is getting on/in the spiricles?
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

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