So, I'm looking at my bottles of Testors acrylic paints that say Non Toxic, Water Wash up. But I also see that they include glycol ethers. They seem to think this isn't good for your eyes, but no mention of skin hazards etc... Is it your thought's that there is nothing on the market that would be safe for marking queens???
I have to admit I thought these were safe, and I find it extremely helpful being able to differentiate queens by their colored markings.
Hello Brandy. Hope all is well...
I'm not making claims one way or the other. What I do know, is that I have never seen testing done to guarantee anyone that the stuff on the market is safe.
I'll use my uni-POSCA pen as example from last year. It is a water-based opaque paint. Says safe for children. But what is the standard and what level is considered safe for children. Whatever that may be, If anything like many chemicals, there are levels allowed in foods and products for human use, while carrying a "safe" label. Some of the foods we consume have acceptable chemical and pesticide levels, that could very well be detrimental to bees. Just because it is safe for one thing, does not ensure the same for bees, especially when bees have such low tolerances, well below what we can handle.
I'll certainly view my Posca pen more safer than the testors paint pen I just received. But I also need to keep in mind many labels are centered around safety precautions from the viewpoint of what the product was designed for. Once a product is used outside the intended purpose, it opens up all kinds of potential, since testing was NOT completed for additional usage. Nontoxic for a tested use, can not be assumed for another use. And we know 4 parts per billion of some chemicals are approved and stamped safe for humans, but are deadly for bees.
I am just mentioning this, due to the casual use of many products out there. Everything from those labeled as a danger, to nail polish to hobby cement. I can not state everything is bad. But to this date, no testing of any company I have researched has given an approval of marking animals or insects, and have not completed any testing to date. They make it clear that the product is not approved for use on bees, never tested, and should not be considered safe for such. So far, that includes a paint pen, nail polish, and a glue company.
Hey, I love marked queen also. Makes my job much easier. I just wish as an industry, we can demand or expect a proven, tested, and safe product for our bees. Thus far, not one company has stepped forward and made such a claim. I certainly view some paint options on the market as "safer" than others. But I'd also be just as willing not to use anything that has not been tested and approved for bees.
Maybe as group, something good can come about. If anything, I hope it opens some eyes as to at least looking at the label, and for others perhaps it will bring a viewpoint they never considered. I have met many people who just considered everything safe unless they were smacked in the face. But when they find out that nothing has even been tested or approved, they look at things differently.