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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found a new queen in one of the hives. Maybe virgin. She looked on the smaller side. In the process of marking her, I the plunger fell out and so did she. Look as I may, I could not see anything moving on the ground and I'm on sand with a few leaves. I'm sure I'm not the only one to have done this, so I'm wondering how many of you have done the same thing and if the queen managed to fly back to the hive? For me that would have been a short flight as I was standing behind the open single medium. Too bad the plunger didn't fall in the direction of the hive. BTW, she wasn't on the plunger. She was upside down on the mesh.
 

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Lots of them will fly back home. Keep your fingers crossed, if you have eggs in four days she found her way home, if you have queen cells she didn't!
 

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I have dropped a few the same way. Those plungers loosen up with very little useage. I’ve always liked them because they allowed me to mark the queen and place her in a safe spot while the marker dries thoroughly.
I bought one of these….when they were $14.95…to try and I’ve only used it a few times but it does solve the issue of the plunger dropping out.
https://www.mannlakeltd.com/one-handed-queen-catcher
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have dropped a few the same way. Those plungers loosen up with very little useage. I’ve always liked them because they allowed me to mark the queen and place her in a safe spot while the marker dries thoroughly.
I bought one of these….when they were $14.95…to try and I’ve only used it a few times but it does solve the issue of the plunger dropping out.
https://www.mannlakeltd.com/one-handed-queen-catcher
That looks interesting. How do you raise the foam?
 

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That looks interesting. How do you raise the foam?
You use a thumb or finger and carefully push it up from the bottom.

No idea about the 'zon version. Look close but not the same. Could be better???

I have managed to let the queen fly while trying to mark her. Luckly, she knew the way back home and was able to return.
 

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I think Mann Lake was selling both the yellow and blue version. The yellow was a bit less expensive. I don't know the difference.
 

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I had one of those for the first couple years of beekeeping. I then started hand marking by practicing with drones before moving to queens. Now I don't even mark queens. I work my hives every 7 to 10 days so I can keep a pretty good handle of tracking my queens introductions, replacements, etc. You'll also gain some experience finding queens if you quit marking them.
 

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Gets to be a bit of a burden once you get past a few hives in the back yard.
I'm running 30 right now, so it's not to bad. I've tried to keep 10 hives in each bee yard and work them on different days when possible. I've stopped a lot of potential problems. If my numbers keep climbing then that time frame probably won't be realistic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, not sure if she is in there. Light wasn't the best and it looks like they are backfilling as fast as they can. In fact, more than one hive looks to be backfilling. They are building comb, but not fast enough. Hopefully the top boxes on the bigger hives will be capped soon and I can spin it out for the comb.
 

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I bought one of these….when they were $14.95…to try and I’ve only used it a few times but it does solve the issue of the plunger dropping out.
https://www.mannlakeltd.com/one-handed-queen-catcher
I managed to ruin a queen with one of them. They can get their head or the tip of the abdomen out through the slots in the slide and if you retract it all the way when releasing her and she has parts of her body sticking through the slot, it gets mushed. You get a lot of workers climbing in and it is hard to see queen amongst them. Thum and finger is probably the safest providing you are not shaky and nervous!

I had one queen fly when I was trying to pluck her off a frame with my fingers; I made a miss and the next try she said "I'm outta here"! I found her in the supers of another hive a few days later. Luck there!
 

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Thum and finger is probably the safest providing you are not shaky and nervous!
I’ve caught and marked queens with my fingers for years but have injured more than I like. I marked hundreds of drones years ago….painted the poor boys pink…..and I simply do not have the finger sensitivity or finesse to do it well.
The one handed catcher I’m using, when I push the queen against the top, the workers inside leave. I rarely have many or any remaining and the queen is unable to move. I haven’t had one get caught in it yet. It ain’t perfect but so far I’m happy with it.
 

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I used it quite a few times before and since without a problem; if a person is stubborn enough though, they can usually find some way of screwing anything up!:D

I now do not fully retract the slide when releasing so that avoids the squishing problem.

I have one of the glass pipe queen catchers that is excellent for putting a queen into an introduction cage without having to touch her. It is slow but it works. That catcher is very delicate and perhaps no longer available.
 

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I have one of the glass pipe queen catchers that is excellent for putting a queen into an introduction cage without having to touch her. It is slow but it works. That catcher is very delicate and perhaps no longer available.
I had one of those some years ago. It looked hand blown. Very fragile. I couldn't believe that a queen could actually fit in the long tube. I never actually tried it. I have no idea where it might be any more.
 

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The pipe has become plastic these days. Kelley's has them.
 

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The pipe has become plastic these days. Kelley's has them.
That would work. I see from the reviews that the two halves are not very accurately aligned and joined; nothing a bit of scotch tape would not cure!

Someone like Michael Palmer would roll on the floor laughing about such a contraption but when you develop something called "intention tremor" it will seem like a good idea!

I watched a Youtube of a beekeeper with bad tremor; he was about 7 times wilder than I am but he was still doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Follow up. The queen didn't make it back. They drew out multiple cells on multiple frames. SOooo, I broke it down into two three frame boxes using 5 frames and expanded the original box back out to 10 frames. Fingers crossed that the opps requeens and gets me two more hives in the next two weeks.
 

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Follow up. The queen didn't make it back. They drew out multiple cells on multiple frames. SOooo, I broke it down into two three frame boxes using 5 frames and expanded the original box back out to 10 frames. Fingers crossed that the opps requeens and gets me two more hives in the next two weeks.
It sounds like you made lemonade!:) Sometimes bad things have good outcomes!
 
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