After watching Michael Palmer’s queen marking video, I was practicing marking drones so I could better mark queens next year. Of the 10 or so drones I marked, five ejaculated and died. I was being very gentle and did not squish them. One ejaculated while I was holding His wing, another holding his legs, another holding his thorax, and another was marked and released and I found him 5 minutes later with his insides out. I definitely did not squash them. I was surprised at the very noticeable “pop” I felt when it happened. Comments?
By the way, if you haven’t seen them there are some fabulous lectures on YouTube from the British Honey convention.
I was wearing nitrile gloves and a bee suit. I was NOT playing Barry White. All the videos I have seen seemed to show the beekeeper crushing the drone and squeezing his insides out. I guess that was a wrong assumption.
I have 2 hives and this was my first winter so I was surprised to see drones. They must be overwintered drones, so likely old. I watched a couple of mating lectures on YouTube from the British Honey Show and the doctor from Texas mentioned that the quality of sperm is variable and drops off with age. A good reason to delay apiary growth until warmer weather for better mating.
You might be right! I saw the idea of marking drones on YouTube and thought it was brilliant. It relieves a lot of the anxiety of handling bees for newcomers.
Right.. I was going to start marking drones next year, to get up to speed marking queens. I just have nightmares about finally getting a great queen then injuring her painting the dot on. So So far I have unmarked queens, has not really caused many issues. Biggest gain for me would be to know when a queen is supercedured, so I know if it is a young queen or a 2 or 3 year old in the fall.
Yes, it is not a huge benefit. I do like the instant eye pull to the paint to see the queen. I bought eBay Chinese paint that was marketed for queen marking last year, my first year, and it didn’t stick. Looked at the pen closely, it is ERASABLE! Live and learn. I will mark my queens next year because I am a hobbyist and like to have an excuse to be interacting with the bees. If you haven’t seen Michael Palmer’s queen marking video, check it out.
I was surprised at the very noticeable “pop” I felt when it happened.
Ay yup, had a drone in a loosely closed fist one time. Felt a pop, wondering what that could be. Opened my fist to see . . . You know the rest.
My markers. Plunge point acrylic paint pens called "Painters". Sold singly (+-$2)
or in 5 pack at Walmart (+-$9). The 5 pack has all the queen colors except yellow. Black is in it's place.
Paint stays on queen's black dot for multiple years.