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Queen Marking Failure . . .then redemption?

1153 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  RayMarler
So I gave queen marking a go this afternoon. I'd lost a queen over a month ago and made 3 splits with frames containing queen cells. Today I caught and painted a lovely large queen that had been busy laying for the past 2 weeks (lots of solid brood and uncapped larva of varying age.) I used a larger drop of Testors liquid paint than intended and my queen was especially wiggly between my fingers. I held her, to allow the paint to dry, for what seemed like 10 minutes, but was probably only 45 seconds. Out of fear that she would squirm free from my not so delicate grip, I returned her to the frame I caught her and she must have taken a direct hit and immediately fell to the ground. I picked her up and told myself, "maybe she fainted" (hey I read they occasionally do that here on Beesource.) She was immediately balled and I realized she was gone.

Learning of my mistake (not letting paint dry,) I decided to redeem my efforts and give it another try on queen #2. Caught her, marked her with what seemed to be a more appropriate amount of paint, and placed her in a queen cage to dry. After showing my wife and girls my perfectly marked queen, I was fairly certain the paint had ample time to dry. I thought I'd set the cage on top of the frames and see how the girls treated mama. They appeared to be trying to feed her as apposed to chewing there way through the wires to kill her. Any gentle movement of the cage and the girls let me know they weren't happy with me. Even though they seemed to accept her back, I decided to leave her in the cage and let them work through the the candy to free her. I figured I'd sacrifice the few days laying as extra precaution. Any harm there?
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Practice on drones! No loss to the hive! Drowning queens in paint = BAD.
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