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Author Topic: queen marking pens  (Read 2736 times)
troutstalker2
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« on: June 11, 2010, 03:19:57 PM »


   Are there any paint markers you should not use on a queen? I found some at a craft store that contain xylol, the brand is tree house, will these hurt the queen?

David
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BjornBee
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2010, 08:53:16 AM »

I have found nothing on the market that has been tested safe for marking queens. Some of the pens sold through the bee supply companies are carcinegenic, and are not fit human contact making bee contcat outright crazy.

Below is an article I wrote on the subject that was printed in 2009.

Thinking Outside The Box    #2

I’m looking for a few volunteers. I’m looking for willing participants who do not care about their health, don’t want to get caught up with health issues or warnings, and those who just want to have some fun. If you have children, perhaps you can get them involved also. If all goes well, you may even get your name in a written article in one of the bee magazines. And wouldn’t that be so neat?

So what I want to do is this. I want to take a product that has always been assumed to be safe. One that has been used, with seemingly no known side effects, no known long term impact, and no long term concerns. I want to take this product and paint a 18 inch disk on your back. If we have families participate, we can have family members paint their backs with different colors. White, Blue, Green, Yellow, and Red, seems like great colors. But once marked, you will carry the spot for the rest of your life. So pick a good one.

So after being marked, we want to see if rashes develop, whether long term health concerns can be seen, and if even other chemicals would interact with the paint spot. We hold the right to hit this paint spot with a splash of formic acid, maybe some oxalic acid, and a few other chemicals of our choosing. But do not be concerned. You see, others have gone before you, and never has their ever been one complaint.

Like any good study, we must have transparency. So I add the following jibber-jabber and nonsense for those who want to read it. Those participating in the study can just skip the next paragraph or two. No sense wasting your time reading this. The paint product for the study contains such chemicals as VMP naphtha, Ethyl Benzene, Xylene, High Boiling Aliphatic Hydrocarbon, Anti Flooding Agents, Diarylide Yellow pigment, and Copper Phthalocyanide pigment. We’ll mention them, but just disregard comments on the label such as “contains a chemical that causes birth defects” and “known to cause cancer”. Probably just a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo anyways. Labels…what good are they really for anyways?

And just to cover our bases, cause you never know what may be brought up later, we contacted the company for the MSDS on the product to be used. (Material Safety Data Sheet). After all, we want this to be a first rate study. But who wants to get caught up in details? Yes, the MSDS mentions things like “Primary routes of Entry” for contaminates as “Inhalation and skin contact”. Yes, it says to not have it come in contact with your skin. But how are we to conduct a study, let alone use the product as it always has been, if we were to take such written warnings with any real reality. So just disregard all that. Probably just government lingo garbage anyways. Oh, and yes…that discussion with the company representative where we asked if they knew the product was being used by beekeepers? The one where they almost seemingly giggled with delight and said they were quite aware of their product was used by beekeepers….Just disregard that also. That’s the conversation where they commented that they never ran any testing on using their product on humans, let alone other things, like Bees! And when I said since they knew it was being used for things like bees, if they would go on the record as promoting such use, they avoided that answer as if all of a sudden, there could be a problem. I remember as we ended the conversation, something along the lines that “we do not recommend, advise, or promote, the use of our product other than what the label indicates and the product has been approved. We do not advise it be use on human, animal or insects.”

Now wait one moment here! This was the same product that was sold in some bee supply companies, and advertised for marking queens. But now I read and hear, that the stuff is carcinogenic, not made for insects, never approved or tested for such use, and it’s starting to have me wonder a bit. And it has me asking some questions.

Is it really as safe as some beekeepers suggest, since they never seem to have any problems marking their queens? Yes, everyone says the queens of today are not good as they once were, but that can be easily answered by using the excuse, that queen quality and even hive loss is due to other things. After all, we have a whole list of things to complain about, including neonicotinoids, coumaphos laced wax, etc.

I do not mark my queens. I do not use chemicals in the hive. I don’t know which one’s may be “safe” but made “unsafe” if in contact with another chemical. I guess if we get some beekeepers to volunteer to have paint spots painted on their backs, we can always throw some formic or oxalic acid on the spots and see what develops. My money will be on a rash developing or some severe skin irritation, if it had not developed by just the paint spot alone. I just hope we do not lose any beekeepers during the testing phase. “Superceding” beekeeper volunteers would slow the results, lessen productivity of the test, and could even spell disaster for the research.

I guess I’ll continue to ask questions. I’ll wonder how I may be forced to mark queens in the future if we ever have problems with AHBs and we are forced to comply with such things as “Best Beekeeping Practices”. I feel real uncomfortable being forced to put unapproved chemicals in my hive, let alone paint queens with such items.

Maybe it’s time for the beekeeping community to demand bee safe products. Maybe we should look at how chemicals play off each other and actually see if marked queens are being damaged. Maybe we need to take a step back up sometimes, take a look at everything in our industry, and ask questions.

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lakeman
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2010, 05:40:53 PM »

Hey! what do you mean, there is a lot of paint approved for painting "QUEENS", some of the manufacturers of these special paint for marking "QUEENS" are covergirl, revlon, loreal, lancome, and many others.
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mvanek
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2010, 06:09:58 PM »

BjornBee,
I liked your article.  .  I did have a marked queen, but her workers cleaned it off of her.  I figure, they know what is best.  I am new to beekeeping and want to go chemical free as well.  Any hints as to how a first year beekeeper can combat pests before they start without using any chemicals?

Thank you in advance for your advice.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2010, 08:46:29 PM »

Hey! what do you mean, there is a lot of paint approved for painting "QUEENS", some of the manufacturers of these special paint for marking "QUEENS" are covergirl, revlon, loreal, lancome, and many others.

Not sure if you just got done watching a Patrick Swayze movie, or if your serious.

But....

Hair spray is approved also. Kills bees fast.
Dish detergent is approved also. Kills bees fast.

Shall I go on......
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Robo
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2010, 09:35:26 AM »

I use these -> http://betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=629

May seem a little expensive at first glance,  but when you add up the price for 5 different markers,  and the fact that if you don't use up a marker in a year (which I'm sure you won't), chances are it won't be any good in 5 years when the color comes around again.

It uses fish glue, and works amazingly well,  I've had no problem with them coming off.
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Damonh
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2010, 11:31:58 AM »

I use the Crayola non toxic fluorescent pens from Wal*Mart. They work fine, and they are inexpensive.
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jgaito
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2010, 12:04:57 PM »

it would seem that toxicity would be relative to longevity.    i don't eat insecticides but i give my dogs heartworm preventative.
i think queen marking would help new bee keepers and is probably not needed for those more seasoned.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2010, 02:16:31 PM »

I use these -> http://betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=629

May seem a little expensive at first glance,  but when you add up the price for 5 different markers,  and the fact that if you don't use up a marker in a year (which I'm sure you won't), chances are it won't be any good in 5 years when the color comes around again.

It uses fish glue, and works amazingly well,  I've had no problem with them coming off.


Robo,
Can you pass along the manufacturer of this marking set? I'd like to call and confirm with the company and get the MSDS and product information.

Something tells me the number discs are made one place, and the glue is purchased from another. Which does not lead to the claim that the glue may be nontoxic for bees. The labeling of any product is under the details of which it is being manufactured and tested. It may be "nontoxic" as produced and originally labeled. Just as Dish detergent is "nontoxic". But if the product is being purchased in quantity, then repackaged and sold for another use, it certainly can not be claimed to be "nontoxic". Just the same if I took "nontoxic" dish detergent, and repackaged it for bee use and claimed it to be nontoxic. Nontoxic is a label for the very defined manufactured use of the intended product. It does not carry over for any other use out there, while claiming "nontoxic".

Get me the manufacturer of the number sets and the origins of the glue. If it has been tested safe and been properly labled and produced for bees, there should be no problems in getting this information.
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Robo
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2010, 07:55:25 PM »

Robo,
Can you pass along the manufacturer of this marking set? I'd like to call and confirm with the company and get the MSDS and product information.


There is no information on my set other than queen bee marking with numbers 1-99 and the colors for each year in German.

Best I can find is Bee Research Institute at Dol (Czech Republic) is one of the manufacturers and their contact info can be found here -> http://www.beedol.cz/old-web/beedolan.html
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BjornBee
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2010, 08:37:16 PM »

Robo,
I feel I'm chasing a dead cat up a tree.

The website was last updated 2-1/2 years ago. The information on the website is not really information, but just a bunch of click-ons to send emails. So it is a waste from the standpoint that any relevant information will be obtained. But I'll give it a try and see what information they forward.

I think this company is NOT the manufacturer, and IS a middleman point of sale for the product in question.

Glad I'm not entrusting my bee's health on a product from such a place, without fully checking it out first..... Wink
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2010, 09:53:53 PM »

If you go to the Czech website it is current -> http://www.beedol.cz/

For some reason when you click on the English version button it takes you to the old site.

Looks to be a bee research place to me.
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