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Author Topic: Marking virgin queens  (Read 2231 times)
samsungpizza
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« on: June 03, 2013, 12:37:30 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)
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WarPonyFarms
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2013, 02:07:29 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.)
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 06:19:10 PM »

if you are not a breeder and you are not going to requeen on schedule, why bother marking?
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samsungpizza
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2013, 09:46:01 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!
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Jim 134
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2013, 09:58:35 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




                BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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samsungpizza
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2013, 10:18:26 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.
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nietssemaj
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2013, 06:57:12 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.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2013, 10:56:05 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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Michael Bush
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Nature Coast Beek
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2013, 03:13:15 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.
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AliciaH
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2013, 08:24:13 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
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samsungpizza
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2013, 09:51:21 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.  grin
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