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This past week, I kept wishing that I would have paid a little more for a marked queen. I went thru about 20 hives and I only saw one of my queens.

I am sure the others were there, but I just couldn't see them thru the mass of bees. So this year, when I replace her, I will be replacing with marked queens. It certainly will makes it easier to find her so that I can create artificial swarms
 

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I agree. I have even considered buying a marking pen just so I could mark the ones I find during my regular inspections.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited by Moderator)


How might you do that. I would imagine that it is hard to get hold of the queen. Would you use some sort of a queen clip. Do they make a queen clip that basically keeps the queen still so that you can mark her back.
 

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they make a clip/queen catcher and a queen marking tube. Check brushy mountains website or catalog. The marking tube works well, its atube to put the queen in with a foam plunger. Put her in the tube pusher up to the net with the plunger and mark her. Cost is less than 10.00
 

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Get the tube and then go to walmart and buy a blue paint pen there. They are a least 1/2 as much as one from the bee supply houses. IMHO, the marks w/ these pens last longer than the ones from the bee supply houses. The pen is called "Elmer's Painters". I found it in the craft section.

Kingfisher
 

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I had intended to use marked queens when I requeen this month, but after conversing with a long time beek and a proverbial expert in my area I am having doubts. He says that the other girls may try to get the foreign material off of her, thereby annoying and maybe damaging her. I sure would like to hear other opinions on this!!
 

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The benifit to having a marked queen are two fold for me. One it helps to find her right a way. second it alows me to know if they replaced her or swarmed. no marked queen but a queen in the hive tells me something.
 

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When I was starting out I used to mark my queens for reasons stated already but now only mark queens for buyers who request a marked queen. Finding the marked queen loses some of its early advantages after you learn how to find the queen efficiently. You will find that you can find a queen fairly quickly the more experience you get. Best advice I can give is to not look for the queen if you are trying to find her. I look for patterns in a zig zag pattern. the bees around the queen just act differently and you can spot it fairly quickly. most of the time she is on the frame with more eggs.
 

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I'm disappointed to get queens that were marked with last years green... I'll normally know what boxes they are in, but I wish they were correctly colored.
 

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I don't use gloves therefore it is easy enough to come over the head of the queen and grab her wings then lightly place a small dab of paint on the thorax. I use to mark queens a couple of years back but as posted previously, understanding the behavior of the queen and the biology of the hive will usually make finding the queen rather easy.
 
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