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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's REALLY hot here right now. I'm not complaining though as it's kicking the soybeans into producing nectar that my bees are working. I store my beekeeping equipment in a nuc with a shoulder strap in my Expedition so it's there when I need it.

I am raising my own queens right now and I mark them. I was checking on one mating nuc yesterday and I found eggs,... great! Ooop there she she is. I caught her and got my blue queen marking pen out (Testors). I tapped the tip on the underside of the upturned roof to make sure it was marking properly. It was, but a drip of paint dropped from the tip as I stood up. I thought it odd but continued on. I marked the queen ever so lightly but there was more paint on the tip than normal. It spread out and stopped right at the points where the wings join the thorax. I feel lucky it wasn't worse, she will hopefully not get rejected, and at the least it was a learning experience.

Long story short, I believe the paint pen apparently became pressurized from the heat and paint comes out more freely than you expect. I post so others can learn from my experience.
 

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I feel lucky it wasn't worse, she will hopefully not get rejected, and at the least it was a learning experience.
Interesting. We have had several queens go missing and my son said they were there and he had marked them. Do they not like the smell of the paint and then kill her thinking it is not their queen?
 

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same thing happened to me I have a queen with a stripe from head to tip of tail she still lays like a champ and now she looks like one also:D
 

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Do they not like the smell of the paint and then kill her thinking it is not their queen?
I've had queens get balled right after marking. Sometimes they don't like the smell. It's usually best to give the paint a couple of min to completely dry. Additionally, if the queen is marked up wrong (usually if her eye is covered, or something like that) the ladies might view her as malformed, defective, or broken and could reject her and/or supersede her.
 

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I marked the queen ever so lightly but there was more paint on the tip than normal. It spread out and stopped right at the points where the wings join the thorax. I feel lucky it wasn't worse, she will hopefully not get rejected, and at the least it was a learning experience.

Long story short, I believe the paint pen apparently became pressurized from the heat and paint comes out more freely than you expect. I post so others can learn from my experience.
That has happened to me too........twice (I am a slow learner). The first time, the paint spread around and down the sides of the thorax. That queen died.

The second time, the paint spread onto the back of the head and a little on the back of the abdomen, but NOT down the sides. That queen lived and is one of my best.

I suspect that so long as you don't plug the spiracles (openings for air intake) on the thorax, the excess paint is less of a problem.

Regardless, I am a LOT more careful marking now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I suspect that so long as you don't plug the spiracles (openings for air intake) on the thorax, the excess paint is less of a problem.
The paint stopped just barely into where hairs started. Where are the spiracles located? I let her sit in a marking tube (I usually do it by hand though) for two minutes as I reassembled the nuc. The bees went about their normal activities as I watched her crawl back into the hive. She did not appear amused. I'm going to let the hive sit for a few days before checking on her.
 

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Don't shake your paint pen over the hive either! Last week I had a couple coming down to buy 2 hives so I went out in the morning and marked the queens. Shook that pen and paint came out like a fire hose. They got about 100 blue bees along with the marked queen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update: I spotted the marked queen in question happily going about her business yesterday.
 

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Congrats. Some times you do stuff wrong but the bees take care of things.

Other times you do stuff right, and it doesn't matter. The little ladies get pissed anyway. Who knows.
 
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