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.