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Author Topic: Queen Marking and Clipping  (Read 3738 times)
ZuniBee
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« on: March 24, 2007, 12:41:17 PM »

My queens are not going to be marked or clipped. After I hive them should I try to mark and clip the queens on the first inspection? Marking them might be easier if I can find them but I'm not sure about clipping them...
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Mici
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2007, 12:47:18 PM »

i wouldn't clip them, it's torturing! also if your beekeeping methods are correct, good you really don't need to clip them, it's not that big a of a deal to lose a swarm or to now is it? it's really not fair to them. plus it might be illegal, it is around here.

about marking, there's been talking about it latelly, check the last 2 pages of treads, or do a search, one said he uses ink
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ZuniBee
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2007, 12:58:10 PM »

Good. If it is not something that is recommended to do I certainly don't want to try to do it. I just keep seeing clipped and marked queens and thought it might be something that should be done.
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Cindi
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2007, 07:55:17 PM »

If you have had practice catching a bee, then I would say to catch and mark the queen.  If you have not had the opportunity to try and catch a bee to hold it by its wings -- holding it still and gently enough to place a mark on its body, then you should practice before you try to catch a queen, she is precious and needs to be treated so.

Practice catching drones if you want to become good at "bee catching", then move onto catching workers.  When you become proficient with the worker, then catch the queen and mark her, if you feel the need.

I think that it is plain and simply really good experience to just get used to being able to find the queen in amongst her retinue without her having a big bold mark.  It is worthy experience in my own mind's eye.  Best of the days.  Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2007, 08:09:09 PM »

I always mark,  but never clip.  Without marking, you will never know if your queen has been superseded.
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2007, 08:10:56 PM »

I am not a fan of clipping, however when you put a queen in a hive and then she flies away, sometimes I wonder if she could just take $50  from my wallet instead.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2007, 08:20:23 PM »

Robo, now this is why the forum is so great.  Right, makes sense, regarding supercedure, now I am heading off in a different direction, probably gonna do the queen marking.

I became pretty good about catching bees when I was performing some BVT on my sister's knee and elbow last summer.  I feel confident that I could catch the queen and be gentle enough to not cause harm.  Best of the day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2007, 02:05:25 AM »

>After I hive them should I try to mark and clip the queens on the first inspection?

I'd mark the queen before I release her (and I would release her).  I have a queen muff which lessens the chance of her flying off.  (See Brushy Mt.)  You can buy a marking tube and a paint pen and mark her and then after you shake the package in release her into the hive from the marking tube.

> Marking them might be easier if I can find them but I'm not sure about clipping them...

If you want to, clip one wing about a third off the end with manicure scissors.  If you don't want to, don't bother.

If you don't have a queen muff and a marking tube, start by marking some drones.  Take your index finger and point at the drone (later the queen) on the comb.  Pin him with the tip of your finger against the comb.  Now that he's immobile, slip your thumb to one side and your index finger over to the other and grasp her thorax between your thumb and finger.  Put him on your left (if you're right handed) index finger.  He will grasp it. Pin all three legs on one side firmly between your thumb and index finger.  This now frees your dominant hand to do the marking.  Release him onto the comb.  After you've gotten good at it, try a real queen.  Smiley  If you're brave, try marking a worker.  Smiley  The technique for a worker has to be a bit different as they WILL sting you.  If you do the same except instead of hading it off and holding the legs, hold it by the head and thorax with your thumb and finger on the sides and the back exposed between them.  In other words your fingers are parallel to the bee.
 
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Michael Bush
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ZuniBee
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2007, 07:27:17 AM »

Quote
after you shake the package in release her into the hive from the marking tube.

You are saying to release the queen directly into the hive without being in the queen cage. The bees wont kill her? Or is this because they have been in the package long enough to accept the queen?

Thanks for the great detailed instructions. I won't be holding a worker for a while! However, this is also a great way to make sure you learn the difference in what is a drone and what is a worker. One mistake and I'll immediately know.
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2007, 08:24:28 AM »

I don't know why but when I look at drones their eyes are so big it reminds me of the shades on the helmets of fighter pilots!
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Cindi
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2007, 09:06:31 AM »

Michael, excellent lesson on queen marking.  Don't have a queen muff, nor a marking tube, so guess it will be done the "hard" way.  Pretty clear.

Ken, you're right that dude does look like a drone's head.  Best of this day.  Cindi

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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2007, 09:48:16 AM »

I also always mark but never clip my queens. I like the ease of finding her when I need to. The drop of color really makes her jump out at you on the frame. Hope that helps you decide!
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adamf
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« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2007, 10:26:52 AM »

Often the marking material will wear off. If you haven't clipped, then its hard to tell if the queen is original or new.

In our breeding program, any queen being evaluated is clipped and marked. This way, we can be sure that the queen we're potentially selecting is the queen we put into the hive. Funny, I find it eaiser to clip queens than to mark them. I use very small, sharp, light, cuticle scissors.

Adam
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2007, 11:14:01 AM »

>You are saying to release the queen directly into the hive without being in the queen cage.

Yes.

>The bees wont kill her?

Unless they made up the package yesterday, probably not.  If they've been in shipment for several days they are pretty much focused on this one already. Waiting for her to get out of the cage will set the hive back another four days or so.

>Or is this because they have been in the package long enough to accept the queen?

Exactly.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2007, 11:46:17 AM »

Often the marking material will wear off.

I've never had much of a problem with that,  sounds like you need to find a better marker substance.

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Kirk-o
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2007, 05:18:54 PM »

Keep it simple don't worry about marking the queen relax
kirk-o
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tig
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« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2007, 04:43:56 AM »

if you don';t have drones to practice with, try the newly emerged nurse bees....they can't sting yet.
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2007, 05:59:39 AM »

Michael ,

I went to the brushy Mt. website. They do not have an image of this queen muff. What does it look like and how does it work?

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2007, 07:49:16 AM »

It's a tube of screen wire about 16" long with cloth mesh with elastic on each end.  You put the queen in there with whatever tools you need and do your thing.   The queen can't get out if she flies.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2007, 08:39:35 AM »

Brendhan,

I just use my veil.  Although not foolproof because I don't get a perfect seal around my hands, it works well.  I have never had a queen get out.  If they do get loose, they tend to crawl up, so I try to keep the opening down.

BTW,  use the veil before you put it on your head tongue
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


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