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Author Topic: "LONG LIVE THE QUEEN"  (Read 2085 times)

Offline rbinhood

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« on: June 19, 2011, 12:11:06 PM »
OK....I previously posted this in the General Forum June 18, 2011, and to my disbelief there were not that many replies on this topic so I will post it here and see who jumps on this sinking ship.

Here's one for all of you expert beekeeps......to mark or not to mark a queen in a feral hive.  As I have gotten older and my eyesight has gotten worse I decided to mark a queen in a trap out that I recently made.  I was fortunate that I was able to get the queen so I decided to mark her this is the first time I have ever marked a queen, I thought it would make her easier to find.  After a couple of weeks I decided to check the hive and did not find her waited a few more days and checked again and did not see her again, there were no new eggs or larva in any of the frames.

Ordered new marked queen, did all of the normal routine they had released her but I noticed the workers were picking at her thorax like they were trying to remove the mark.  One week latter I checked the hive again and no queen to be found very few eggs or new larva either. 

So I pulled three frames and placed them in an observation hive and placed another marked queen in this hive they released her on the sixth day everything was just fine for a couple of days she went about performing as normal.

Day nine rolled around an I noticed the workers and nurse bees started picking at the mark and really giving the queen a hard time.

Day eleven rolls around and there was no "LONG LIVE THE QUEEN".  She was on the landing perch dead as a mackerel!

I discovered that the mark was gone and her thorax was almost totally destroyed.  So I decided to give it one more shot and queened the observation hive with an unmarked queen, the results after three week is a hive with a thriving queen who has filled both sides of two frames with eggs and larva and is laying in the frame with stores as they consume the honey from this third frame.

OK....all of you experts tell me why this happened and why should anyone ever mark a queen....the way I see it (and at my age it is often hard to do) why would you add something that is unnatural as a mark to your queens!

I am old codger and before I get any older or my Alzheimer's gets any worse I would like to get a really good answer for this problem, that way I can say that one time in my life I forgot something really important other than did my wife give me my false teeth back after she got through eating breakfast.
Only God can make these two things.....Blood and Honey!

Offline joebrown

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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 03:28:01 AM »
Typically the marks do not bother the bees at all. There are several reasons to mark a queen though. First, if you use the right color it is easy to determine the age of the queen. Second, I don't know about you, but I don't know what all my queens look like. So if one is replaced I will not know it. If you mark your queens and she is superceded then it is easy to spot, because the new queen will not be born with a mark. Third, although you can find them fairly easy with practice, nothing makes finding a queen easier than a bright colorful mark.

Offline Michael Bush

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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2011, 07:44:06 AM »
I have not seen one killed because she was marked.  I have seen them remove the mark occasionally.  But not usually.  My main reason for marking is to know the age of the queen.  It's hard to know how well the genetics of a queen do if you don't know if the booming hive is a result of her or her mother.

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Offline westmar

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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2011, 03:30:33 AM »
   i mark my queens never had a problem mark with paint marker[art line 400xf].

Offline tefer2

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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2011, 08:36:24 AM »
I always use the water based uni- posca paint pens to mark my queens, I feel they smell less than the other paint pens like testors model car paint.

Offline nietssemaj

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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2011, 07:54:49 PM »
Perhaps you aren't waiting long enough for the mark to dry and it still smelled funny.

Offline rrussell

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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2011, 11:10:40 PM »
I do not prefer marked queens... of course, for research, they have to be positively identified... so for that purpose I prefer marking them with numbered disks as opposed to paint... some levels of hygienics will cause the bees to become obsessed with removing that color... if its paint, they can damage the queen, if its a disk, they simply pick at the disk almost like scratching a helmet instead of a head...  the obsessive picking can reduce the queens performance at the least and kill her in the worst case scenario... so when I want to see what someone's stock is capable of in my operation, I request specifically NOT to mark her... however, this type of occurrence is rare and it seems that you had a constant issue with it... the mark problem may actually just be a side issue and the de-throning may be more of an issue of genetic conflict instead... can you describe the bees that were originally in the trap out and what type of bees are kept near that location, as well as what type of queen you were using to requeen with? The original queen could have had her abdomen squeezed a bit during marking... that would cause supersedure, then the next queens could have been of conflicting genetics... assuming that they were from a quality producer, so handling wouldn't be an issue...