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I have noticed in the past couple of years that queens marked with Posca paint pens, which I have used for nearly 13 years, need remarking within weeks.

I have tried letting them dry first, then applying a second coat etc. but the paint is wearing off quickly.

When I first used them years ago they were pretty much indelible for a couple of years. Not any more.

Is this just me or are others finding the same?

Is there a more indelible, safe marker to use?
 

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For me lasts years green is still fine.. This years blue seems to come off before the virgin is even mated
 

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Change from hydrocarbon solvent to waterborne carrier? I think you can still buy Xylene solvent Testors model paint. I dont think they have messed with it yet.
 

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Change from hydrocarbon solvent to waterborne carrier? I think you can still buy Xylene solvent Testors model paint. I dont think they have messed with it yet.
That's what I've been using this year. Testors paint and a toothpick has worked great. My pens last year were awful...
 

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I thought Model paint was toxic. I also read someone used nail polish but thought that was toxic too?
I am new but bought non-taxic paint pens in the craft section. I have a hard time finding mine, but then again I'm not too worried but i would like to mark them this Sunday
 

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I thought the blue seemed a little thin, I thought it was just because it was hot or I didn't shake it enough.

Alex
 

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I thought Model paint was toxic. I also read someone used nail polish but thought that was toxic too?
I am new but bought non-taxic paint pens in the craft section. I have a hard time finding mine, but then again I'm not too worried but i would like to mark them this Sunday
I think it is the fumes from the solvents that are usually toxic. The amount in a small drop on the queen is probably not enough to matter,especially after the paint dries.
 

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I have used Testor's model airplane paint for years and never had it completely wear or get chewed off. Search or Michael Palmer's mini video on how to mark queens. He uses an "everywhere available" Timothy grass stem as a handy brush. Use an absolute minimum of paint and do a second application if necessary. Be very careful to get the paint only on the queen's thorax and not on her wings or legs and let it dry before releasing her back into a seam.

Alternatively, just learn how to find her without a mark, or just be happy when you see larva!

Cheers,
Steve
 

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This years blue seems to come off before the virgin is even mated
Same here. Within weeks, 98% of the paint is off. I've caught myself several times this year wondering why/how the queen was replaced. After picking up the the queens to mark them, turns out there was faint blue paint at the edge of thorax.
 

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My Posca (made in Japan) pen markings are staying OK (2 years at least). Maybe there are some knock offs out there?
 

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I used a Sharpie brand paint pen this year with good results. They’re oil based I believe. It seemed to work better than the posca I also used (two shades of blue for two different breeder queens).
 

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Some of it is the genetics of the bees. Some of them seem to work very hard at removing the paint. Others do not. All things being equal I buy the Testor's enamel pens. But sometimes I buy the POSCO because they have what I want in florescent colors. It's nice to have a florescent color when you're trying to spot a queen... And I have have had decent luck with them, though they get rubbed off more often than the enamel pens, usually they do ok.
 

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I thought it was just me. Posco pens have been disappointing this past year with the paint getting removed. I always allow plenty of dry time--so I know that's not the issue. Based upon the feedback, it may be time try Testor.
 

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I had a terrible time this year with marks wearing off, remembered I had a similar issue a few years ago, so went back to notes. Last time I had this problem was 2015, this year was 2020. The only thing in common, blue marks......
 

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I use "Painters" paint pens. Plunge point acrylic paint markers.
Only place I buy them is from in store crafts at Walmart.
They can be bought singly at +-$2 each. Or a 5 pack of colors containing 4 of 5 queen colors can be purchased +-$9. (Contains black instead of yellow.) I'm glad the tips on the 5 pack are "fine point", since they tend to better eliminate the "sploosh" I've been able to manage by preloading a medium tip.
Hint: Whatever the tip, do avoid pre-loading too much by excessive plunging of the tip to get the fresh paint. And do not know whether it matters, but I shake the pen before loading the tip.
Paint easily lasts into the next year.
 

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I also read someone used nail polish but thought that was toxic too?
I've used nail polish, testor paint, and Posca pens. Nail polish worked just fine. I was using fluorescent testor paint and some time ago mentioned it while talking with a commercial beekeeper in my town. She said she always used nail polish but said don't use new nail polish, polish that was over a year old was better. I have no idea why that would be so but I had no good reason to ignore her experience. I pilfered an old bottle of purple polish from my daughter, she hated the color, and I marked queens with it for a couple of years (I didn't used to care about year color) and it was fine. A bee exoskeleton chitin and the fingernail keratin are similar so once the polish is dry it should not be any problem for her. Make sure you blot the end of the brush if you use it as an applicator. And anytime you are using a new kind of applicator you should do a drone or two first.

I bought a full set of Posca pens in 2017. I didn't notice any problems with the blue color this year. I cant speak about a 2020 pen.
 
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