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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We opened up one of our Nuc's today to see how they were doing. We located the queen and we did not have our queen catcher with but the tube and marker. We saw her in the middle of the frame looks like she was laying an egg. So we quickly dabbed her with a drop of paint. she was quickly covered by bee's. We thought that it was to clean off the paint. Turns out they killed her. Looks like they chewed the back end right off. Now we are not sure if they did it because of us or we just witnessed what was going to happen anyway. We did find them building a queen cup on another frame. There was white inside and they were finishing building it. Might be closed up soon. Ever seen this?
 

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There is another thread on marking queens, where someone mentioned that he had a lot of queens killed as he was marking them. I think they didn't like the smell of the wet paint or something. Also, there some paints the bees just don't like, according to a poster in that thread.

Pugs
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am usuing the normal queen marking pen. Could be that we are not letting them dry enough. Is there a certain amount of time we should keep them in the tube to let it dry. It was really bad this time of year to loose a queen. But, it does help to explain why we have lost so many this year. We marked a lot of them and lost a lot of them. Marking is new for us.
 

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Once you mark her pull the plunger down about 3/4" so she doesn't rub the paint on the screen. let her remain in the tube for 5 minutes or so until the paint has dried.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Once you mark her pull the plunger down about 3/4" so she doesn't rub the paint on the screen. let her remain in the tube for 5 minutes or so until the paint has dried.
Now you tell me. :ws (always wanted to post that one). We will have to combine the Nuc she was in with another hive.
 

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I would say them killing her had little or nothing to do with the paint. I mark by hand, and as you can guess I don't hold the queen for 5minutes. I have on the other hand seen lots of young queens get balled when you open the hive to check on them. ( no marking involved) Had one today I had to grab a clump and run to the truck. I then started pinching anything that wasn't a queen. Not sure why they do it, never seen it happen to an older queen.
 

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Or you could order a mated queen and introduce her. That way the hive won't lose time building up for winter.

Richard
 

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I think brac might be on to something. I've noticed the same thing with a newly mated queens and also a newly released queen. So now I try not to mark the queens untill they have been laying for a few months and so far I have not had them ball the queen when I put her back after marking.

If you notice this happening again get the bees off of her and make a push in queen cage. Leave her in it for a couple of days and you should be ok after they calm down. I have done this in the past and it worked like a charm.
 

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I marked 3 queens 3 days ago.
I would see the queen on a frame, carry the frame over to my table to sit and then catch her on the comb with left hand and mark with right hand. Carry frame back to hive and put in place.

On the third queen...
The bees seemed anxious over the queen before I got to the table.
By the time I sat down and had the frame laid in place on the table, there was a bee very aggressive against the queen, seemed to be biting her under abdomen/thorax area. I squished the worker and marked the queen. By the time I got back to the hive, she was balled tight. I put the frame back in, just figuring she's a goner but I'd wait and see... An hour later they were still balling her. So I been thinking...
The smell of the other 2 queens on my fingers?
The smell of the other bees from other hives at the table?
Smell of other queens at the table?
The smell of the other 2 queens on the pen tip in the ink? (WOW)
At the table don't make sense, they were anxious and threatening before I got to the table.
I think it was the smell on my fingers of handling the first two queens.
Next time I'll wear blue nitril gloves and mark the queens at their hives.

Today, 3 days later, I take a peek.
What do you thing I see?
I see a happy hive with a marked laying queen.

I closed up the hive and went down the street and bought me some peaches, might make a cobbler tonight.
 
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