marking queens

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by reidi_tim, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. reidi_tim

    reidi_tim New Member

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    I want to mark my queens from the cut, ( forgot to ask if the queens are marked on the two nucs I picked up last weekend ) so maybe them also. So what are some of the ways to do this? Do you use any old paint marker? Since these are my bees I see no reason to go with the color / year system just something bright to make finding her easy. Last question for the night when should you wash your bee suit? The boss lady washed them after the first use lots of stingers, honey, and bee poo. I see no reason to wash them again after two times of light use.
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I ain't washed my bee jacket in over a year now, course I don't wear it that often either.

    I don't mark queens so could not tell you what kind of paint marker to use.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    You can practice on drones also, they will let you know if you squeeze them too hard :wink:
     
  5. jmblakeney

    jmblakeney New Member

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    I would recommend marking with the correct color/year too. Marking drones is great practice. Robo has a great video of how to mark queens on youtube. I have tried marking them by grabbing them by her wings litely with your dominant hand. Put your first finger of the other hand under her thorax. Once her legs grasp your finger place your thumb on top of them holding at least two legs on the same side of her body. Then you can mark her.
    This is not an easy task to do. I lost the queen several times the last time I done it and had to wait for her to settle with the swarm before catchin her again. :eek: Even if you practice this on drones, when you have the queen, I was still scared while holding the queen like this for fear of pinching her legs to tight.
    I recommend the queen marking tube. It is much simpler but still practice on several drones before hand. I didn't realize how much preasure I was putting on the plunger and squished a drone one time.
    As far as the paint pens, go to walmart in the craft section. They are MUCH cheaper there.

    Hope this helps.

    James
     
  6. jmblakeney

    jmblakeney New Member

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    Here ya go.
    [video=youtube;R4Sb6J_uY3E]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4Sb6J_uY3E[/video]
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    1) and as the video above shows you do this with no gloves. if you are a bit skittish about being stung... you either need to 'man up' or be prepared to squish or drop a few queens.... or perhaps buy one of those queen marking kits that the bee supply stores sell <never tried those myself but I assume they do work.

    2) I use a paint stick that I obtain from a local hobby store. paint color is optional and I generally use the color pink. it represent no particular year, seems like a durable color and is easy to spot. some colors like red don't seem to last so well or are scrubbed off by the bee.. most times very quickly.

    3) the hardest part is catching the queen and you will feel a bit all thumbs the first time you give this a try. do practice (catching and marking) on drones but these are not the same as catching a queen. after a couple of hundred marked queens this all gets very easy.

    no numero > this simple thing of catching and marking a queen really wows the folks at our annual bee school. since my hive are taken to the site for the inspection portion of the program I leave one or more of the hives with the queen unmarked just to show the folks how this is done.
     
  8. Jacobs

    Jacobs New Member

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    My take on it is this--mark with the correct year/color if you know the age of the queen. I bought a little jar of Testor steel (silver) color paint and use a toothpick (with the point clipped) as an applicator for queens when I do not know the age. Use a totally different color to practice with on drones--something WAY different from the standard colors. If you go in search of your marked queen and you have marked drones the same color, you will find yourself frustrated and distracted.

    I don't have good end of finger dexterity, so I use a queen capture clip and a marking tube. I try and keep the clip and tube resting on a brood frame from the hive and keep the frame on the top bars of the open super of that hive. If the queen does escape the transfer from the clip to the tube I think it lessens the chance that she will take flight.
     
  9. reidi_tim

    reidi_tim New Member

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    Thanks for the video James :thumbsup:. So maybe I asked two questions and it looked like one :???:. If I need to mark the queens in the nucs I got yes I would use the color for the year, but the two from the cut out I would think I would want to mark a different color since " the girls insist they are over 18 and left their id back at the home hive :razz:" The wifes thought is two mark the mystery girls in two colors one year correct and on color not used.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012