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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
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    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
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    2,610

    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
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    3,592

    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
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    5,032

    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
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    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
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    3,426

    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"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,486

    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    Yes, I have had it happen. When I have had it happen it was on newly mated queens. I think the bees get upset about the inspection and take it out on the new queen. The few times I had it happen I was probably checking on them too much. It happened on some of my first splits and I was constantly checking on them and once I finally started seeing eggs I went to mark the queen. They immediately stated balling her. I caught her and put her in a queen cage for a few days and then let her go. Everything was fine after that. I now let the queens lay for a while before I mark them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
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    318

    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    That's interesting. But these are all queens that have been in the hives since last fall. And it was the first full inspection of the year, so I don't think I was bothering them too much. We really want to get all of our queens marked with this years color, even though they've been in there since last year. But I'm afraid to mark any more if they're going to flee their thrones!

    And to answer deknow's question, no paint anywhere but a small dot on the thorax.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    3,592

    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBee View Post
    We really want to get all of our queens marked with this years color, even though they've been in there since last year.


    How will you identify this year's queens? With next year's color?
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    None of our queens have been marked to this point in time. We are just trying to get every queen in every hive marked so will know if they replace her any time from here forward. I don't see any point in going back and marking our queens that were already in there with last year's color. Of course we'll switch to next year's color next spring.


    Does that makes sense? Suggestions?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBee View Post


    Does that makes sense?
    No.

    Last year's queens would normally be identified with last year's color.

    I would use a nonstandard color if I wasn't following the norm.

    If you sold bees, the queens would be mistaken for this year's.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
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    318

    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    I appreciate the comments on what color to mark the queens, but that's not my issue. My issue is that my laying, made-it-thru-the-winter, newly-marked queen flew out hive and got herself killed.

    We don't sell bees. We just want marked queens as of right now for a starting point.

    Now if you tell me that this year's color (red) makes them fly out and get killed and last year's color (yellow) will make them stay and lay, then I may order a yellow pen!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    An excellent starting point would be to follow the standard...

    Beyond that, I would now recommend that you choose your favorite Crayola color.

    Happy coloring!
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    1,260

    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    I crushed my new laying queen that she got in a shock inside the marking tube. All legs and body crunched together
    all jittering. Thought she was a gonner. But a little royal jelly does wonder for her after releasing her back into the hive.
    She's all good now. So I am very reluctant to mark the other 5 queens now.
    If you want to continue to mark your queen, I think it is better not to direct release her after marking her. She may be
    in shock and disoriented after the marking. Or from the handling of her. How do you catch her anyway?
    Let the paint dry inside a small queen cage first. Then release her after the paint had dried out and the worker bees
    starting to recognize her again the next day. This way she is all refreshed and not walking out the hive all disillusioned.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    2,610

    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    I still don't get how the color of the pen will make a difference in how a queen reacts to being marked. Is the queen that upset that she got marked with the wrong color?
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I still don't get how the color of the pen will make a difference in how a queen reacts to being marked. Is the queen that upset that she got marked with the wrong color?
    Daniel Y,

    The OP suggested that possibility.

    I believe an emoticon was omitted in his posting and that has lead to your confusion...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  18. #18

    Default Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBee View Post
    I don't see any point in going back and marking our queens that were already in there with last year's color. Of course we'll switch to next year's color next spring. Suggestions?
    Suggestions? Get a good pencil eraser....go back....
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Harrisonburg Va
    Posts
    174

    Wink Re: Newly marked queens acting crazy

    I love these threads that go crazy..the man had /has a problem and is looking for advice / help....I don't think it was the color of paint....most females would love to be thought to be a year younger....

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