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Discussion Starter #1
I just ordered my first bees. One package from Rossman Apiaries that will be shipped in May (according to their information). This is a dumb newbie question: How many bees are in a package? I also paid for the queen to be clipped and marked so I can identify her.
 

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Congrats, there will be around 10,000 beez in a 3lb package. Also everyone has their own opinion on the queen...but I feel they are best just the way they are...I see no reason for marking/clipping. Marking has its place but I don't get any of mine clipped.
:thumbsup:
 

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Clipping is done to prevent the queen from being able to fly - which is supposed to then discourage swarming. Consensus opinion is that the bees still swarm - the queen just gets left behind at the entrance of the old hive.

I don't clip. I do mark all my queens - easier finding her during inspections.
 

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Best thing about a marked queen is not the ease of finding her, but the ability to know for sure when she gets superceded. You have a better chance of knowing the age and genetics of the actual queen in the colony, when she is marked. As for clipping, everyone will have their own opinion.
 

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you did what you wanted don't worry, if you don't like the queen you can requeen. i do like mine marked. clipped that up to you. but have fun and enjoy your bees. I am buying about 10 nuc's this april and plan on requeening all of them just because I want a difrent breed it was cheaper for me to do it that way.
 

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Marked is the way to go. I would call them back and ask that they not clip the queen. It does effect the queen and if she is perceived to be damaged by the hive they will supersede her.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice. I need all the advice I can get! I wanted her marked, so I could identify her more easily since I am new. I plan to requeen every year because I read that this helps to avoid Africanization of the hive. There have been AHBs identified in this area (Miller County, Arkansas). I may call the apiary and talk to them about the clipping.
 

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It has been my experience that clipping does no harm to the queen. It does not prevent swarming, but it can give you notice that a colony wants to swarm. The swarm will issue but will return to the hive when the queen fails to join the swarm. When you see this attempt, you can go into the hive and take corrective actions. Sometimes the clipped queen will be lost outside the hive in the grass but other times you will be able to find her. Clipping is permanent so it serves as a positive means of identification while the marking often comes off rather quickly leaving one to wonder if the original queen is still in the hive. Hopefully, those AHBs will not survive your winters. I've been to Texarkana many times and it does get pretty cold sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It has been VERY cold this year, so I hope you are right! And kills off some of those pesky fire ants too!
 
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