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Queen marking - Permanent?

1158 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  xgrove
I'm glad this forum is called Beekeeping 101 otherwise this question might seem downright stupid:

Once a queen is marked by a professional breeder (Honey Bee Genetics in this case) is that mark permanent?

Here's the situation: I have a hive that is about 4 years old. About two months ago, after a final batch of brood, there was no evidence of eggs nor uncapped larvae. I assumed that an unsuccessful queen succession had taken place so I decided to requeen.

I installed the new queen package. After three days I removed the cork and pierced the candy. Blue-marked queen was active in the cage and everybody seemed happy. Yesterday afternoon (5 days after original installation) I noticed a knot of workers wrestling with something in front of the hive. My assumption was "Well, there goes that queen". To my surprise it was a dying, unmarked queen. Thus my question.

Insights welcomed.

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You haven't requeened in 4 yrs? This colony never swarmed or superceded the original queen? And you knew this because the original queen marked? Possibly the colony swarmed and you introduced a new marked queen into a colony that had a new virgin queen? I'd check the colony to see if the new marked queen isn't in there. 5 days seems like a short time for the paint marking to wear off.

Good luck!

Bena, VA

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
< You haven't requeened in 4 yrs? >
Thank you for that observation.

I just guessed at the age of the hive. I got the hive last October from another beek who became hypersensitive to bee strings. He had this single hive for at least 2 years.

I was basing the hive's queen state on (a) the temperment of the hive (extremely aggressive) and (b) the fact that brood production had stopped: No new uncapped brood (nor eggs as far as I could tell for) over 4 weeks. They may have swarmed but it would have been a small one as the hive has continued to be a real powerhouse.

I'll check for the replacement queen but wanted to let them have at least a week without interruptions.
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