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I have a question: I thought that a hive will supercede a queen if there is the slightest thing that they perceive as wrong...

So, when a queen is marked, why wouldn't the hive detect something wrong with her (the marking) and try to supercede her right away?

Wouldn't this make you not want to mark a queen?
 

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If you mark the queen in the right place, no harm will be done but if you get any ink on her head, legs, or abdonmen, then that MIGHT create a problem.

People have been marking queens for a very long time with no real problem.

Marking queens does take some practise!
 

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>So, when a queen is marked, why wouldn't the hive detect something wrong with her (the marking) and try to supercede her right away?

I've never seen any difference in supercedure of marked queens vs unmarked. Also, it is dark in the hive, so maybe they don't notice.
Many people clip their wing as well. I haven't seen any more supercedure because of that either. I've even had queens with a bad back leg and the bees didn't seem to mind. They seem more concerned about her ability to lay sufficient numbers of fertile eggs and produce the right pheromones.
 

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Jeff,
I have had the same questions. I have also heard some real "naturalist" types suggest its not good. So I asked some questions, and sought some answers. Very hard to get. They included finding...

The paint stick sold by the bee mags are the same paint sticks sold at craft and hobby stores. Last one I bought from a bee mag was a "uniPOSCA", pc-5m made from mitsubishi. I was somewhat surprised as I had originally thought that a "special" paint marker was developed for the specific use for bees. Not so. It also seems that any specific testing or data about the safeness in applying paint to a queens back is nowhere to be found.

On one hand, although many paints are safe, can you imagine placing a paint spot on your back the size of two feet square? And carrying it around for your lifetime? This I guess would equate to the spot on the queen. I'm not sure if I would want that myself. Not sure the long term effect, even if the danger seemed small.

The other hand, is the many who say that they see no difference. But without any real study, how can one be sure?

The glue used for attaching numbers is in the same catagory as the paint. Nobody it seems has any real data or tests, beyond casual comments of suggesting they have seen little difference.

I have read that "damaged" queens, can and will promote supercedure. How much, I do not know. Some, rare, or never? Hard to say.

I do try to keep stress down, and keep hives as close to "natural' as possible. I have kept marked breeder queens, but do not mark my main yards queens.

The area I am concerned with, is the laws being passed in response to AHB dangers. MAAREC, and some of the east coast states are going to make marking queens manditory once AHB's have been found in the county/state. On the surface, I don't have a problem since knowing your queens genetics will be very important. And I support that. What I don't support is the forcing me to use paint on queens, with little data, and apparently no scientific testing of paint being used in the market today. It would not be the first time that something was found to be detrimental to health, years later. I hope we are not repeating that again.

I think a study of introducing marked queens, introducing glue and dot queens, and seeing if introduction rates, supercedure rates, lifespan, queen viability, and other factors, should be completed. When each person has a choice, I can deal with that. When you tell me I must do it...I want proof. Very simple.

It would not surprise me one way or the other to find its safe, or its not safe. Just wish we did not have to guess, speculate, or make educated guesses. Seems it should be clear. But its not.

[ February 09, 2007, 06:50 AM: Message edited by: BjornBee ]
 

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"I think a study of introducing marked queens, introducing glue and dot queens, and seeing if introduction rates, supercedure rates, lifespan, queen viability, and other factors, should be completed." -BjornBee

It sounds like a good experiment to me, but with one big problem to overcome:

The "marked" queens (paint or glue-and-dot) make it easy to tell if supercedure has occured, measure lifespan, etc. The "unmarked" queens are far more difficult. How do you know if an unmarked queen is the same unmarked queen you saw in the hive two weeks ago? Is she the same unmarked queen you saw in the hive one year ago?

And, if you mark her in some way to allow you to distinguish her, haven't you moved her from the "unmarked" group to the "marked" group?

A "catch-22" for the experiment.
 

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hey guys,

when you put a # on a queen you use crazy glue right? If thats the case, they use the medical version of it to glue nerves and blood vessels together. Of course its not the same as a dab the size of your back...

I've heard of using auto paint as a marker, but as you said Bjorn, it's a lot like painting your whole back. That doesn't sond too healthy to me.

Wow, I hadn't given it as much thought as I should have. I was considering using Gel Crazy Glue to put a small spot on my queen's back and glitter for the mark. Now I'm not too sure.

But I NEED to mark my queens being in Florida. Though I haven't experienced the AHB yet, I am always on the lookout for any signs of aggression.

I'll have to give it more thought.

Thanks,
Albert
 

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hey guys,

when you put a # on a queen you use crazy glue right? If thats the case, they use the medical version of it to glue nerves and blood vessels together. Of course its not the same as a dab the size of your back...

I've heard of using auto paint as a marker, but as you said Bjorn, it's a lot like painting your whole back. That doesn't sond too healthy to me.

Wow, I hadn't given it as much thought as I should have. I was considering using Gel Crazy Glue to put a small spot on my queen's back and glitter for the mark. Now I'm not too sure.

But I NEED to mark my queens being in Florida. Though I haven't experienced the AHB yet, I am always on the lookout for any signs of aggression.

I'll have to give it more thought.

Thanks,
Albert
 

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Comparing painting your back to a bee's back is apples and oranges. Your back is made of a breathable membrane. A bee's back is made of chitin which is NOT a breathable membrane but a hard shell. It's much more like painting your fingernails, not like painting your back.
 

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For pete's sake. Of course a bee and my back are different. I didn't have hair on my back till at least my middle 20's.

I think regardless, no matter whether its finger nails or backs, would it not be safe to ask "Is this safe?", or "Is there any dangers?". I was pointing out that a small dot of paint on a bee is the equivelent of a rather much larger spot of paint for a human. I'm not suggesting that bees and humans are somehow closely related in the animal kingdom, or that some actual comparision of body make-up would be needed to make a point.

Not long ago, I watched a special on nail salons. It focused on cheap adhesive materials used for applying nails and used as nail filler. Customers had their real nails literally falling off. Medical problems were being mentioned, with allergic reactions, complications, and other side effects. Seems the glue/adhesives being used for nail extensions was from overseas and not approved. Seems this "chitin" equivalent (a finger nail), was no barrier to chemicals.

Whether a bees back is breathable, made of chitin, or from gold...I'm not convinced that glue or paint is completely harmless. And to this date, nobody has shown proof, testing, or data to back this up.

Seems many are against chemicals, unnatural treatments, and other things. But dabbing a bee's back with paint or glue is just fine and dandy. Go figure.....

[ February 10, 2007, 05:29 PM: Message edited by: BjornBee ]
 

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> Seems many are against chemicals, unnatural treatments, and other things. But dabbing a bee's back with paint or glue is just fine and dandy. Go figure.....

I'm not sure where this point is supposed to go and who it is supposed to be a "jab" at. But I for one can distinguish applying chemicals as a means of crutching a hive against parasites and infections and applying chemicals for other management purposes (protecting the wood, smoking the colony, gluing frames, etc...). I guess it can be easy to confuse apples and oranges sometimes, but I can tell them apart after I slice into them. And normally, I'd guess my beekeeping commrades could to. Perhaps not.

That's pretty interesting and informative about the fingernail polish problems, Bjorn.

Waya
 
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