I bought a marker pen and a plunger to mark my 3 queens. Of course I totally botched the first queen and lost her, and refound her… and I think I decided that unmarked queens are better haha. One day I will have an inspection with no drama!
I mark all my queens so that a hive that should have a marked queen but now an un-marked queen I know things have changed, possibly swarmed, but I am really pro active to prevent that happening. A marked queen can also tell you her age by the dot color. It also makes it so easy to see her during an inspection at a glance.
Your day will come Lindsay when you have an inspection with no drama and when you put the roof back on you can smile and pat yourself on the back. Even after 47 years of bee keeping I can have inspections go either way., but that’s bee keeping, far from a routine.
47 years! How incredible!!! My blood is still pumping after thinking my queen was a goner haha. Well then maybe I should try and mark the other ones after all. When we did see her again, it was easy to see her. I did just buy a random color though and did not use the color guide that I should have. So I should try and get on the right schedule haha.
Any color is better than nothing for you with just 3 hives to monitor. With 35 hives in my main apiary and another 10 elsewhere as well as looking after some hives for folks that need some help the right color is important for me. All my hives are numbered and when I do an inspection I write down any note with pencil and paper then enter them on my computer when I get home for future reference. At the end of a day at my hives my memory of even what hives I have worked on is a blank.
Yeah, 47 years of bee keeping and still loving it and learning. I get a buzz out of helping folks out, it is about giving something back to bee keeping that I have got from it. Does that sound like I’m addicted? I guess I am.
Love it! There are far worse things to be addicted to. And I love the advice and help I get!! I have been taking notes during each inspection as well, and I made myself a little bee supply inventory haha. I’ve been having so much fun!
Thanks Dawn! Yours is way easier to spot though!!
By the way, you chose the right color. Blue this year. Next year is white.
Have you tried using an app for your inspections? I use one, and it is a piece of cake entering the inspection details, plus you can go back and check previous inspection details. Depending on what data you enter for each inspection, it will even alert you if there is a problem with the hive e.g swarming, disease etc.
Taking dated notes is priceless Linzi. Your bees are your bees and the behaviours, hive health and strength, husbandry are supported by everything you do for them (good & bad, we all make mistakes) the notes will help you through difficult times and you can always look back and laugh at the fun times fumbling your way around until you have 47 years like Pete .
I’m just glad I’m alive at 47
I mark all my queens.
For swarm i just did a random non official colour as i dont really know although i thought she was a fresh queen.
My other queens i also marked. i made one of those cages to try and mark them but in all honesty i found it easier just to grab her by the wings then hold her legs and mark her. i wouldnt try it with gloves on or you can wear the latex gloves that way you arent as sensitive to bees crawling all over you if that helps which is what i do alot. i did however drop the swarm queen on the grass when trying to mark her the first time but you live and learn. even with my marked queens i sometimes dont see them during the inspections.