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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Can the Dot Wear Off?

    I have two hives. Both successfully wintered and are now building up for the spring. One hive has always been very strong. It was started from a nuc last April, and gave me 30lbs of honey it's first year. We saw the queen for this hive once last year, a week after we hived the nuc. She had sort of a white smear/dot for a marking. Then we never found her again This was not an issue though, because we always saw great brood patterns, with brood in all stages of development. The hive was strong.

    We did an inspection this past weekend, and the hive remains strong. Brood in all stages, brood nest expanding, new bees emerging. We actually saw one coming out of the cell for the first time. Very exciting. As usual, no actual queen sighting, but we were working fast because it was still a little cool. As is our habit we photograph a few frames so we can do a close and slow examination later. Looking at the photos, lo and behold a nice shot of the queen. Only there's no dot. When we saw her last year she had a white mark, although it was a little sloppy, more of a smear than a dot.

    I'm just wondering, does the paint come off? That would explain why we never find the queen, we are always looking for a marked queen.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: Can the Dot Wear Off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Irmo View Post
    .

    I'm just wondering, does the paint come off? That would explain why we never find the queen, we are always looking for a marked queen.

    Yes it can. We have some three years old at this point though still wearing the paint fine. Depends on the paint. My guess is that the queen was superceded unless you know otherwise by some other visual clue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Can the Dot Wear Off?

    Absolutely possible that she was superseded. As first year beekeepers my wife and I were in the hives often, probably more than necessary. We never saw any evidence of a the hive superseding the queen…then again as first year beekeepers; who can say what we missed?

    I’ll come back and post a picture of our mystery queen, just to make sure I haven’t misidentified her.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Can the Dot Wear Off?

    I have a three year old queen that barely has a small smudge of a dot left. Yes, they can wear off, but it is a gradual thing. If you suddenly notice the dot missing, it is probably a new queen.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Harrisonburg Va
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Can the Dot Wear Off?

    I don't look for the dot...my queens have never had them....I look for the circle of bees around her...then instead of looking for one bee..I'm kinda looking at couple of ' snapshots' across the frame 'looking for the 'group'
    Last edited by honeybeebee; 04-10-2013 at 11:15 AM. Reason: spelling

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Can the Dot Wear Off?

    Here's the picture with the queen in the center. Does anyone think I've mistakenly identified her as a queen?

    Queen 1 4 9 13 zoom.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Can the Dot Wear Off?

    Looks like a queen to me. The paint on my second year queen is wearing off some, she gets cleaned a lot by her children. But yes it looks like a superceedure queen. You should be fine. How does your brood patter look? That is a great check on queen viability.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Can the Dot Wear Off?

    The brood pattern looks pretty good so far. Small tight patches. We've had overnight temps in the low to mid 30s until last Thursday, so they are about what I would expect. Of course, it was 89 degrees today. Hope we aren't skipping spring cfompletely.

    This hive is increasing faster than my other hive (which has always been the weaker of the two), so they compare the same as last year.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,845

    Default Re: Can the Dot Wear Off?

    Looks like I see two flecks of white still on her, I have a queen with the same issue, i can see a few flecks of white, assuming she was a marked queen at some point.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Can the Dot Wear Off?

    Yes, I was debating whether those are flecks of paint or reflections like those in some of the surrounding workers eyes. They look more like flecks of paint. Anyway, orginal or not, she appears to be doing a good job. Thanks for all the responses!

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