Marking queens

Discussion in 'Raising Queens' started by Eddy Honey, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I have a customer that is buying 2 of my over-wintered nucs next Spring and he would like me to mark the queens.

    I have seen some youtube vids where beeks just pick up the queen with their fingers and mark them. Won't they sting you?

    I think I'll wait until Spring this way if I kill them I can raise new ones.

    Any other methods or tricks from the pros'?

    My wife got me the pens from Brushy; $$$! for some Sharpie's along with a tube and plunger looking device to try it with.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Just shoot them with a paintball gun. :thumbsup: :lol:

    Practice with a few drones, then go for it. I just scoop the queen up with the tube, then insert the plunger. Push gently just enough to get her immobile. Mark through the screen and allow to dry for a couple minutes before releasing.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    What Iddee said. Tube and plunger.
     
  4. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    I use the tube and plunger too; I think it's pretty foolproof. I pick up the queen (usually by the wings) and drop her into the tube, and then insert the plunger. When I first started marking queens, I would catch them with a hairclip catcher and then transfer to the tube (never having to touch the queen). That method is probably even more foolproof, but it can take some coaxing to get her from the clip into the tube.

    I tried marking while holding the queen in my left hand, but got some paint on her head once and swore that method off for a while. I've seen so many youtubes of people making it look easy, that I'll have to try it "bare handed" again next year.

    Also, I've never been stung by a queen, nor by any of the bees surrounding her while picking her up. They're just not that protective. I'm much more nervous about hurting the queen, then about stings when I'm picking up a queen.

    -Dan
     
  5. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    The hardest part about marking a queen is deciding to do it.
     
  6. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I am going to make a bunch of drag queen drones before I attempt it on a queen; they are too hard to come by here!
     
  7. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "I am going to make a bunch of drag queen drones before I attempt it on a queen"
    :rotfl:
     
  8. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I see the international color chart is in 5 year increments.
    What if......someone needed to mark a 5 year old queen?

    Does anyone have or heard of queens that age?
     
  9. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    I've certainly heard of queens that old. I think she'd have to be marked all along to track her confidently.

    If someone thought they had a queen around for that long, I'd be skeptical that they didn't miss a supersedure or swarm at some point over the course of 5 years with an unmarked queen.

    If you really did have a marked queen of that age, regardless of the repeat color, she'd probably be pretty memorable. Plus, she'd probably show her age with a little bit of tattered wings, etc.

    Someone else weigh in on this...
    -Dan
     
  10. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If she isn't marked, how do you know her age?

    If she is marked, why mark her again?

    I don't quite get the question.
     
  11. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Just like the wngs get tattered, the marking wears off. If she's still around after 5 years and worth keeping (highly doubtful) she'd need a refresher marking.:grin:
     
  12. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If it wore off, I don't see how you would know it was the same one. Wings can get tattered on a new queen.

    But as to the op, I would mark her with a sixth color.
     
  13. Minz

    Minz Member

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    So if you mark her in spring you going to use this years color or the year you are in? I was using orange this year rather than the correct color. Really liked it. Maybe use that for the 6th color?
     
  14. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I'll use whatever color corresponds to the year she emerged.
     
  15. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I think queens are supposed to be marked in the color of the year they were born. Don't forget, old queens swarm off, so whoever winds up with her will at least know how old she is. :)
     
  16. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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  17. Minz

    Minz Member

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    Actually I put a bar code with different colors on my queens just to confuse guys like Perry! Besides all that paint keeps them from flying far! I should have put a smiley on my last post so you knew I was only being a screwball.
     
  18. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    omie and perry:
    "I think queens are supposed to be marked in the color of the year they were born. Don't forget, old queens swarm off, so whoever winds up with her will at least know how old she is."
    "That figures. just goes to show you how inconsiderate some folks are.
    The swarm that moved into my backyard, right into a empty hive body wasn't even marked.
    Who do I complain to? "


    riverbee: or an unmarked mystery queen showing up in an occupied queenless hive you gave up on, drove her 90 miles down the road, combined the hive with another, AND THEN FOUND HER :roll: :lol:
     
  19. tommyt

    tommyt New Member

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    Not to derail
    What do you use to mark them

    If you don't have the Bee Supply markers


    Thanks
     
  20. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I've seen some use white out, but that doesn't give you any year.