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Author Topic: Marking virgin queens  (Read 2626 times)

Offline samsungpizza

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Marking virgin queens
« on: June 03, 2013, 01:37:30 AM »
Can virgin queens be painted? I don't know if being labeled would lower their chances of mating. Seems a lot easier to mark them out of the roller cage, than waiting for them to mate, locate, and mark. Thank you! (I searched this before asking but didn't see anything. But I am also a computer idiot)

Offline WarPonyFarms

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Re: Marking virgin queens
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2013, 03:07:29 PM »
Depending on the color for the year, I've found marking my virgins before they mate can reduce their return rate slightly. 

If there is a reason I need to make sure the queen I placed is the same one that returned, I mark her before she mates, but as a result of my own study, I mark when they begin to lay.

I've had discussions with breeders in my area and have heard both sides of the argument.

(I make 40-60 queens in a year for locals and personal use.)

Online kathyp

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Re: Marking virgin queens
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 07:19:10 PM »
if you are not a breeder and you are not going to requeen on schedule, why bother marking?
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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Offline samsungpizza

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Re: Marking virgin queens
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 10:46:01 PM »
I have trouble finding marked queens with my eyes. Long story short, I plan on grafting to re queen all of my hives mid July. Start winter off with new queens, and hopefully sell nucs next spring. Customers would like them marked as well. Personally, I don't look for queens until I have to. Seeing larvae is good enough for me. Seeing eggs, means getting out my 8X magnifier!

Offline Jim 134

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Re: Marking virgin queens
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 10:58:35 PM »
     Something you may like to watch before you start grafting Queens. If you are going to raise less than 100 Queens. I would say that's the way to go.

http://youtu.be/qIYz65Vquxg




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Offline samsungpizza

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Re: Marking virgin queens
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 11:18:26 PM »
Already watched it, and shot him a couple emails already. My problem is I lost 75% of my hives this winter, so will graft from surviving queens. I plan on doing OTS in spring. Thanks for reply nonetheless. I can do OTS and re queen all my packages in July, with frames from my overwintered hives, but I already have money invested in grafting equipment, and want to get a little more use out of it.

Offline nietssemaj

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Re: Marking virgin queens
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2013, 07:57:12 AM »
No insight as to the OP, I am a newbee and don't raise queens aside from what the bees make on their own.

if you are not a breeder and you are not going to requeen on schedule, why bother marking?

I don't know about PA, but here in Florida the state inspectors encourage marking so that the beekeeper knows when the queen has been replaced naturally.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Marking virgin queens
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2013, 11:56:05 AM »
>Can virgin queens be painted?

Yes, but they are much more likely to fly on you and I've lost many a virgin queen that way before I gave it up.

> I don't know if being labeled would lower their chances of mating

It probably depends on what is in the area that would enjoy eating queens...
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Offline Nature Coast Beek

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Re: Marking virgin queens
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2013, 04:13:15 PM »
My .02 from this year's experience is that marking virgins is a waste of time. Can it be done with no harm to the queen, sure. But what's the point if she doesn't get mated properly at the end? I'd rather spend the effort marking after the confirmed results. Also, as others have stated, you might be adding that little bit of flash that does her in with a bird. Besides, after marking the first 4 virgins of this year and only getting one successfully mated, again, more trouble than it's worth.

Offline AliciaH

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Re: Marking virgin queens
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2013, 09:24:13 PM »
>Can virgin queens be painted?

Yes, but they are much more likely to fly on you and I've lost many a virgin queen that way before I gave it up.


I agree.  I just tried it with a 5-way split (happened to inspect on queen-hatching day!).  After 8 days, tried to mark them.  Even at that point they were still runny and all "oh-no-so-not-letting-you-do-that".  Got the first, almost lost the 2nd to flight, didn't even try the rest.  Decided the possibility for disaster/injury were just too high.  I'll get 'em later.... :evil:

Offline samsungpizza

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Re: Marking virgin queens
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2013, 10:51:21 PM »
I was marking them right out of the roller cage, so didn't have a problem handling. Just didn't know how wise it was to do so. I had several not return from mating last year, and wondered if I contributed to the problem. I got my answer. Another lesson learned the hard way, but wont learn it twice.  :-D