Queen marking cautions
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oconee, Illinois
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    125

    Default Queen marking cautions

    I marked my second queen ever today. I've been using a queen marking paint pen and the one handed queen catcher. The queen I marked today just went crazy when I released her. She was trying to scratch at the paint with her rear legs, frantically running around and pushing her legs up thru her wings trying to get at it. I was scared I hurt her at first but then seen she was walking fine but seemed to not like that paint at all. From reading about doing it I've been careful not to get a big blob that runs all over her eyes and antennae and dooms her. Can you go too far back and cause harm?
    IMG_1940.jpg

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    7,861

    Default Re: Queen marking cautions

    Well, as long as she can see and still laying good she will be fine.
    Next time make sure the paint had dried out before putting her back into the hive. I'll use
    a queen marking tube for extra insurance.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    344

    Default Re: Queen marking cautions

    I coated one this year. almost entirely pink. she is still laying good and seems to be fine. the bees were trying to clean her off. I felt terrible for her.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Oconee, Illinois
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Queen marking cautions

    Thanks guys. I did let up on the queen marking pad too soon and that's the wet paint you see on her wings.
    I've been looking up trying find if it's a concern about covering up spiracles on their thorax and possibly restricting breathing?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    6,032

    Default Re: Queen marking cautions

    She'll be fine. Sometimes I get a flapper who ends up with some paint on her wings. As long as you aren't baptizing her there's not much to worry about.
    Last edited by jwcarlson; 07-25-2017 at 10:31 AM.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
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    3,080

    Default Re: Queen marking cautions

    So far we've done fine using some toothpicks we have that are blunt on one end. You could also cut one end off of a blunt toothpick.

    Just get the amount of paint you want to apply, not a big drop, on the toothpick, and it will be impossible to apply too much. Work it into the thorax fur a little ... I keep hearing about paint marks coming off, but ours last 2-3 years. I have had accidents with marking pens while marking frames, and that definitely could over-paint a queen.

    We hold them with a queen marking tube, and use Testor's model paint.

    We let the queen dry for about 10-15 minutes, then put her back in the hive.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    2,461

    Default Re: Queen marking cautions

    For a bit over twenty dollars I bought a 15-pack of the Uni POSCA non-toxic paint pens. I wanted pink and some of the non "be warned you require gloves" colors. Blue, white, yellow, red, and green.
    The 15-pack has light green, pink, two shades of orange, light blue, grey and a couple browns.
    They're $6.45 each at Mann Lake.

    They work great and dry really fast compared to the oil-base one's I'd been using.

    Here's a helpful hint.
    When you take the pen out and it's a hot day you have to "burp" it because the heat pressurizes them pens.
    Take the pen, hold it point up, then burp it by pressing the tip into the base. Use the underside of a outer cover or a stick...whatever.
    If you don't do this you're risking giving a queen a paint bath plus you won't lose half your ink when it spurts out the first time you press it in to get the tip wet.

    This home-made marking tube works infinitely better than the little blue cap ones the bee supply houses sell.
    Get a toilet paper tube and some wedding veil material. Tape it on. Make a plunger (piston?) out of a pencil and some foam insulation and you're good to go.
    20170422_151543.jpg
    This picture shows how the piston/plunger is constructed.
    Cut the insulation circles with a hole-saw. After that it's self explanatory.
    The black stuff on the end is foam tape.
    20170512_183922.jpg
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  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
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    3,080

    Default Re: Queen marking cautions

    And the infamous bug-sucker toy. Which I swear actually works pretty well on queens.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,208

    Default Re: Queen marking cautions

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoebee View Post
    And the infamous bug-sucker toy.
    I guess, but I consider this just slightly better than a queen clip, which is something no one should use.

    What's wrong with just pick them up by the wings? It's really very easy. Practice on workers if you're worried about damaging a queen.
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  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC, USA
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Queen marking cautions

    Wait until you paint one and they play possum on you and you think they are dead. Twice this year both queens laying fine the next day. The first one I even painted her eyes, was a big mess.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    3,080

    Default Re: Queen marking cautions

    Quote Originally Posted by gtwarren1966 View Post
    Wait until you paint one and they play possum on you and you think they are dead. Twice this year both queens laying fine the next day. The first one I even painted her eyes, was a big mess.
    The last one that played possum on us was alive and frisky the following week ... when we came back with a replacement queen, thinking she was kaput. She found herself floating in the queen lure jar due to playing possum. The problem, of course, is that she did not learn from her mistake.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    5,173

    Default Re: Queen marking cautions

    Quote Originally Posted by aunt betty View Post
    This home-made marking tube works infinitely better than the little blue cap ones the bee supply houses sell.
    Get a toilet paper tube and some wedding veil material. Tape it on. Make a plunger (piston?) out of a pencil and some foam insulation and you're good to go.
    No "wedding veil material?" Try the material that bagged onions and lemons come in..............
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  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC, USA
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Queen marking cautions

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoebee View Post
    The last one that played possum on us was alive and frisky the following week ... when we came back with a replacement queen, thinking she was kaput. She found herself floating in the queen lure jar due to playing possum. The problem, of course, is that she did not learn from her mistake.
    The first queen that played possum on me is now in the swarm lure gang as well. I had bought a replacement queen and replaced her anyway as that hive was pretty mean anyway and I wanted to calm it down. The second queen that did it is still there as they are the gentlest bees I have so I'll cut her some slack.

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