>I have read that marking the queen offers some benefits for the beginner becasue she may be easier to see.
Yes, and as mentioned, you can also tell if she's been replaced. Good to know when you suspect a supercedure or a swarm. Or even if you didn't.
> What about purchasing queens with "clipped" wings? I have also heard that clipping the queen's wings prevents her from flying away from the hive which seems as if it might be helpful.
They only fly away if they are swarming. Clipping will slow them down, but they will still swarm if you aren't paying attention and they will simply leave with one of the virgins instead.
>Any suggestions would be appreciated.
. I seldom clip them, but I don't think it hurts. I've had clipped queens that were several years old.