Clipped/marked queens?
Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,711

    Default Clipped/marked queens?

    What has your experience been as far as clipped or marked queens as to their laying ability? Are they more prone to supersedure? With clipped/marked queens, do you see more queens that you might consider to be,.. "poorly mated"?

    I do not order a large volume of queens, but have ordered some. Some have survived or were superseded, but some have not. A few did not lay enough eggs to produce a viable colony.

    When queen breeders prepare to ship queens and they are marked/clipped, how is that done and how much handling are the queens getting exposed to? Too much? The queens also have to be put into the cages. Are beekeeping "interns" or even part-timers-summer jobs hired for this process? Have they had enough experience with handling/marking queens? It seems that handling and marking queens on a routine basis requires a lot of skill; maybe not?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    9,932

    Default Re: Clipped/marked queens?

    If it's done properly it has no effect. However it is easy to damage a queen, even a bit too much pressure on the abdomen can mean she will dissapear from the hive a few weeks later.

    How it's done and how much handling varies from one breeder to another, although for these guys time = money so they are usually pretty efficient and get it done with surprisingly little handling. Some breeders will pick up a queen by the thorax, me, I just hold them by the wings. That's just how I was trained, not sure if there is a right or wrong way. I hold them by the legs for marking.

    Like all jobs there is skill involved however a person can learn marking and caging queens fairly quickly. But people vary, some people are just naturally good, and others are just naturally rough and will never be good queen handlers.

    Oldbee sounds like you've had some poor queens. Even the best queen breeder can do a few poor ones because something can happen during mating or whatever and it's not really known till after the queen has been laying a few months. However if you've had more than your share, vote with your feet, don't buy from that breeder again.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,582

    Default Re: Clipped/marked queens?

    >What has your experience been as far as clipped or marked queens as to their laying ability?

    I see no difference.

    >Are they more prone to supersedure?

    I see no difference.

    > With clipped/marked queens, do you see more queens that you might consider to be,.. "poorly mated"?

    Most of the ones I've gotten in the last decade were poorly mated and unmarked and unclipped...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
    Posts
    1,563

    Re: Clipped/marked queens?

    I buy queens quite often from all over to study for potential breeding... I NEVER ask for clipping or marking... the less handling, the better... I have always tried to steer my customers away from clipping and marking, but we still do offer it because its helpful in some types of situations...

    Only certain members of our staff are selected for catching queens... and they are tested thoroughly for a full season before they are chosen... we clip and mark production queens in the mating yards as we are catching the queens

    Catch with right hand, hold with left, clip with right, mark with right... we rarely use the pens... tags are much better for record keeping.

    As far as effect on the queens... not really... if she is not squeezed, there should be no difference.

    I agree with oldtimer... you got some poor quality queens... may have been something that happened during shipping or they may have been squeezed during clipping and marking, or they were poorly mated...

    Handling queens is second nature for some... I can catch 2 with attendants and be opening the third nuc while most are just starting to pry out the frames from their first nuc... but I have been handling them since I was a small boy... I have staff that are great workers and are great at research and retain everything they are taught, but absolutely can not handle a queen... in our operation, we are fortunate enough to be able to use someone like this for tasks that do not involve queen handling, but I'm sure that there are other operations that couldn't afford to lose a great asset like this person, yet also can't afford to hire another person to handle queens... so to get the best quality that I can, and give the seller the best chance I can, I make sure that they never mark or clip my queens.

    Hope this helps!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,711

    Default Re: Clipped/marked queens?

    Thanks for the information about that.

    Some queen breeders/shippers mark their queens routinely, so one has to request that they not be marked/clipped.

    I don't order a lot of queens, but those that have been marked were either superseded or poor layers. A queen that was marked and introduced to a ten frame split never got going as far as laying.

    If one can order more than 10-12 queens and get a discount per volume, then any loses make up [by some $] for acceptance problems or "poorly mated" issues. In any case, I have found that most queen suppliers [the few I have dealt with] are more than willing to replace a "queen problem" at a discount.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    703

    Default Re: Clipped/marked queens?

    If keeping track of the queen is important to you, you can as easily mark the fron of the hive with a color tag acording to the year she was raised. as far as proof that the same queen is in there, a wing clipping will be suffecient, that way if you see a queen with out a clipped wing, you'll know that the former was superceded. The nice thing about marking the front of the hive is that you can also keep track of where or what kind of queen you have. (example) carni queens get a tag on the front left side, italians on the right, russian in the middle, with the tag color coded for that year. this is the method I use that I learnt from another beek and it is effecient.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Quapaw OK USA
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Clipped/marked queens?

    I have found my eyes aren't as good as they were a few years ago and handling the queen takes good eyes.I have tried useing magnifing glasses but that takes another hand to hold it.I tried a magifing glass that fits around my head but not much luck with it.The best queen marker won't be the best if his eyes are failing Maybe my age is catching up to me. I am 72

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Orange, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Clipped/marked queens?

    Have you tried an optivisor? Works like a charm. Your eyes will feel twenty years younger.
    http://www.doneganoptical.com/optivisor.php
    -John McNeil

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dexter, Missouri USA
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: Clipped/marked queens?

    I know if you slip up and get paint anywhere other than the top of the thorax, the risk of supercedure increases. I made a rookie mistake and decided to pick one of my best queens to make my first attempt at marking. I got a bit of paint on her eye with a paint marker. She was quickly superseded. Practice on drones before risking a good queen. As far as marking or clipping affecting the mating of a queen? It shouldn't matter,as she should be mated before she is marked or clipped. Clipping or marking would help you keep track of your queens though. When that queen was superseded, the replacement queen was much less desirable. Egg laying was good, but temperament and mite resistance suffered.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,546

    Default Re: Clipped/marked queens?

    Just a suggestion for queens in hives that never get so far as laying...try a push-in introduction cage. I build them to have 6" x 5" inside dimension so the new queen has LOTS of room to start laying. They are 7/8" deep inside so the bees that are balling and trying to kill her can't reach her legs or her wings to pull them off. The inside perimeter has a sheet metal strip that is stapled to the wood frame and penetrates 3/8" into the comb so the attacking bees don't dig under the cage to kill her. I staple a thin (3/32" to 1/8" thick) strip of wood around the rim over the #8 mesh hardware cloth, so these intro cages are excessively solid. The queen enjoys a 7- to 10-day stay to begin laying so her pheromone level comes up and she is generally accepted by the host colony.

    Some of those "bad queens" may just need a longer intro period and room enough to lay some eggs. Oh, BTW, I mark mine with discs just for identity and checking queenright, but I don't clip them. If she wants to bug out on me, she's welcome to.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •