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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the first time this year I visually saw my queen in my one year old hive. She no longer is marked. Is it possible that the marking wore off or do I now have a different queen? At no time last year or this spring did I feel that there was a problem since eggs were always seen. And my hive now is just bursting with bees and activiy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Michael, thanks for the reply. I don't know what material they used for her yellow dot. I am surprised to see a different queen though, since I thought that I would have noticed queen cells developing sooner. I guess it could have happened earlier this spring before I started opening the hive for inspections, or perhaps in late fall afer I was done inspecting.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Sometimes we freak because the old queen is disposed of, first or is killed and then they raise one and the time delay leaves them broodless for some time. Sometimes they raise a new queen and don't dispose of the old one until the new one is laying well and we never see a break in the brood cycle.


[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited May 17, 2004).]
 

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I have had newly marked queens lose all but a little of their markings in a matter of a couple of weeks. I believe it just has to do with how well the paint was applied to begin with.
I always mark my own and for the most part dont have any problem. Saw one shortly after I introduced her and there was just a speck of paint left, so I wouldnt say impossible.
Take the time to mark her and see how it goes.
 

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I had a queen last summer that within a month the paint was gone. I guess that the bees rubbed it off her back? It just slowly came off her back so I knew that it was the same queen.
 

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I guess I usually end up marking my own and while I have seen some wear, I haven't seen them rub off. I HAVE seen one with white out rub off.

I suppose you could always clip them to make sure you know it's the old queen or not.
 

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Just in case you like to clip the wings from a queen clip half of the wings on one site. The queen will never fly strait up in the air, she only can fry in a cycle and will land on the bottom. When you clip both side a little bit she always can fly (slowly) up and away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the replies. It sounds like the best thing to do (if I want to keep track of her anyway) is to mark her. I'll have to order in some marking material, unless finger nail polish will do, and try my hand at it. What is the best way to go about marking her? My guess is that it's the same old girl but I guess I will never know for sure!
 

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>Is it OK to use nail polish to mark queens?

It doesn't work well. Enamel pens work the best for me.

>Thanks for all the replies. It sounds like the best thing to do (if I want to keep track of her anyway) is to mark her. I'll have to order in some marking material, unless finger nail polish will do, and try my hand at it.

Several suppliers sell the enamel pens.

>What is the best way to go about marking her? My guess is that it's the same old girl but I guess I will never know for sure!

You can practice doing it by hand. Practice on drones with a color that is last year's (or the year before's) color. Catch them by the wings and then let them grasp your finger with their legs and touch their back with the paint. Try not to get very much, just a small dot.

I find it's easier to use a hair clip queen catcher to catch the queen and a marking tube to mark her. You use the clip to pick her up and then coerce her into the tube by only opening the clip when she is headed in the right direction. Use your hands do corale her and stay over the hive so she falls on the top bars if she changes her mind.

Once she's in the tube you carfully pin her to the top and mark her. Hold her for another minute while the paint dries or she will smear it and get it into the articulations of her body. Then remove the tube and put it down between two top bars and watch to make sure she runs down into the hive. If she looks like she's going to fly hold your hand over the space directly above her and she will change her mind.

The tubes and clips are available at various places. I think I bought my last ones from Betterbee, but I've also gotten them from www.beeworks.com
 
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