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Author Topic: Purchasing Clipped Queens  (Read 1060 times)
sparks
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« on: July 10, 2009, 05:59:20 PM »

Would you pay the extra $1.25 to have a queen clipped.  I wonder if there is a down side to having this done.  I am about to order and would like to hear what the experienced have to say.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2009, 08:14:29 AM by sparks » Logged
jdpro5010
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2009, 11:32:35 AM »

I fail to see a reason to clip a queen.  If you are not comfortable marking a queen on your own then I would pay to have that done.  That way you can see how soon they supercede her.
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JhnR
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2009, 12:01:28 PM »

Clipping a wing will sometimes stop the hive from swarming....the workers will leave and congregate somewhere..waiting for the queen...when she does not arrive they return. Now, when one of the swarm cells hatch, they then may swarm with the sister. This gives you a last chance to split the hive. This worked once for me this year.....the second hive swarmed with an after swarm a half hour later. I still have the mother queen and she is laying well but I now have a 2 medium hive instead of 5.

John 
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2009, 06:45:52 PM »

the main reason to clip a queen is so you dont lose her, most high dollar brood queens are clipped because you dont want $100-$300 queen flying off...
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sc-bee
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2009, 08:16:52 PM »

>the main reason to clip a queen is so you dont lose her, most high dollar brood queens are clipped because you dont want $100-$300 queen flying off...

Good answer Wink!
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jdpro5010
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2009, 01:55:42 PM »

I can understand that.  Hadn't really thought about it from that angle.  Although how many of you have seen a laying queen fly?  It is kinda like watching a stone float!  I would assume the concern for flying is before she starts laying and in the beginning.  I would think that anybody spending big dollars for a breeding queen is surely going to keep a close eye on her to keep her from swarming though! grin
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BjornBee
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2009, 04:42:33 PM »

Many clipped queens still fly off. There is a huge difference between a 40% clip and a 75% clip. 40% clip and she is gone. 75% clip and she makes it a few feet into the yard. And if your not around, she just will to die that night or the next time it rains. Clipping to me is a waste unless your checking your yards daily anyways. And if you are in your yard daily, then how opening up the hive every now and doing something before the hive swarms.

It's kind of like the beekeeper who upon inspection can see eggs and larvae. But will continue to plod through the hive frame after frame, until that specially marked queen is found. And what beyond the information that a frame can tell you will you gain? Nothing! Whether the queen still has the mark, is a different queen, or is the same queen but the mark removed, nothing changes. It has little to do with anything other than the beekeepers desire to feel all good about themselves in finding the queen. I can understand being in AHB territory. But for many, looking for that marked queen just equates into a prolonged inspection ignoring all the other cues that can tell you about everything you can tell by actually seeing the queen. Opening a hive usually means finding the queen for many. The inspection just is not complete without seeing her.

Clipping wings are used as a crutch for the poor beekeeper who has no swarm management skills. Or lacks the desire to actually open a hive every now and then. It's like saying "I'll just get a clipped queen and then sit back and wait for her to end up in the grass" as if anything positive will come about from it anyways.

Stop clipping and marking queens, and actually become a beekeeper... Wink
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Tucker1
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2009, 05:43:14 PM »

I asked this basic question at a Bee keeping workshop at WSU.  The basic advice I was given by the expert was to not clip the queens wings. Even with clipped wings, the queen will try to leave the colony and will usually end up on the ground with the rest of the bees swarmed around her. If the weather is bad or she stays out a night, the situation becomes worse. The other downside is the potential chance of doing damage to the queen. I think BjornBee did a nice job summarizing the downside of wing clipping.
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sparks
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2009, 10:28:55 AM »

Thanks for all the great answers.  None of my queens are marked or clipped and I seem to be doing just fine.  I do need to go pick up a new queen today and the marking/clipping is offered and wanted to know what others take was on it.  Since I am not at the point of investing in a high dollar queen I think that I will pass.

Thanks,

Chuck
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