I see some promote marking queens by suggesting "There is no excuse for unmarked queens".
Deja Vu all over again..... Haven't we been through this about 5 or 6 times already? I guess I'll respond one final time since this is obviously a shot at me.
My personal experience has been that supercedure/emergency queens can be inferior queens. Once I eliminated them from my hive management I have had much better wintering success, far less superceding, and overall healthier hives. I know you will want to dissect that last sentence and try to put a bunch of words in my mouth, but I'm just sharing what works for me. I have no scientific proof, nor do I claim anyone else should solely rely on it.
Yes I'm sure you can get fine supercedure/emergency queens, but once again, my experience has been that even a poor supercedure/emergency queens can look super and have a terrific brood pattern when the weather is great. But when Fall comes, that is when the good and the poor queens are separated. That is also evident by following the post on this forum. It is also the hardest time to get a replacement queen. My first goal in beekeeping is overwintering success.
So the bees decide that their queen is inferior for some reason and decide to replace her. So they raise a new queen from an egg of the failing queen. Any chances that the queens inferiority is passed to the new queen?
My preferred method to identify if a queen has been replaced is by marking them. I know some claim it increases supercedure, but as I stated before, my supercedure rate has decreased overall since I eliminated emergency/supercedure queens, So my experience is that if it does increase the rate, it is less than with keeping inferior queens. I regularly have queens that have been marked with paint for 3 years and still functioning fine. I usually don't let them go beyond that, but after 3 years, seems that the bees don't mind having a marked queen.
I now use numbered disks to keep better records and have had no issues with them either.
We see a lot of folks that try to be so-called "natural", 'low-impact", "organic", or however they classify themselves, doing walk-away splits. Well hate to say, that is not natural either, and although the bees are capable of raising an emergency queen, that doesn't mean it is proficient. In fact, I tend to believe supercedure/emergency queens happen far less in feral colonies than most people assume.
I know a large factor in folks using supercedure/emergency queens is the cost. I'm not suggesting that anyone should buy queens in my statements either. Hobbyist beekeepers can rear their own queens quite successfully, that is what I do.
I'm not looking for "good enough" queens. http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/can-you-afford-emergency-queens/
So I just shared my methods and rationale that work for me. I'm not trying to convince anyone what they should do, just offering up options to think about. So go ahead a pick it apart like you do every other time. I can only say it works for me and I'm sticking with it and will continue to share it with people who want to listen.
For those folks that are relatively new to the forum, you will find that Mike likes to stir the pot on issues he disagrees with like small cell and marking. I obviously don't want to speak for other members, but if you look at the members that have been here the longest and/or who are the most active over time, you will see they have learned over time not get involved with Mike's post anymore as they don't like his modus operandi. It seems that Mike is not content accepting the fact that people have different opinions and methods than he.