Have I damaged/killed my Queen?

Hi all, so today I found the Queen properly only the second time, anyway I marked her. Unfortunately some of the marker fluid ran onto her body and leg. I found it to be a nerve racking experience trying to get her into the marking device and then touching her with the marker pen, must have held the pen on her for too long. :confounded:. Help what’s going to happen to her? Hopefully Dave.

Hi Dave, fingers crossed she’ll be ok. Look in, in 5 days time, not for her, but look at the brood to see if there are emergency queens, or newly laid eggs.

PS, I’m like @Smoke ,Stefan, I’ve never had marked queens. I only look for evidence that she’s there.

One day while transferring a colony into a customer’s hive, I told the customer that I haven’t seen this queen yet. He got a bit indignant that I’m selling a queen without first spotting her.

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Hi Jojo. I don’t mark my queens at all. I find it an unnecessary risk. I don’t even care much to look for one unless I am doing a split. I only look for evidence of a queen.

A good idea would be to practice on some drones first. For next time. I think she’ll be fine….

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Thank you yes I’ll do that.:+1:

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Thank you yes hopefully she’ll be ok. Great idea to practice on drones.

When using the pen for the first time blot it on something other than the queen. Some pens will release more paint when using for the first time, each time, and lead to this type of experience. By blotting you remove the risk of applying running paint and you’ll have more control.

As others have said you don’t need to mark the queen, or see her every inspection. It does however make it easy when doing some things. Practise on drones, but with a different colour to your queen(s).


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If you have eggs and these fellas you don’t need to find the queen.,


Those aren’t “fellas”, they be lasses!!!


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Thank you will do that. I haven’t bothered marking the queens before either but I recently did a spilt (1st time) and was concerned about finding her. Cheers Dave

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Thank you👍 Yes that was what I worked on prior but I recently did a split and was concerned about finding the queen. Cheers Dave.

You can do a split without taking the queen, guaranteed.

All you do is shake all the bees off (back into the brood) the brood frames you intend on taking with the split. Then put those frames above the QE. After a couple of hours, those frames will be covered with nurse bees, as well as others. All you do then is take those frames, with bees, with no queen to use in the split. I have never done this, however it’s a simple solution to splitting, while guaranteeing not to take the queen.


Hahaha my bees are non binary. :joy::joy:

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Yes that was the kind of split I attempted, but there where still a few bees left on the frames. I Was a little concerned she was still on one of the frames, as it turned out she wasn’t. However this leads nicely into another question, I did the split because there was a capped queen cell on one of the frames. On doing an inspection a week later the cell had completely gone but there where 4 or 5 queen cells with nice fat larvae. Same thing week later completely gone no sign of any cells, wax just gone. The bees are still active, can’t find a queen, no eggs or larvae. There’s nectar and pollen. Is it normal for the cells to be removed? Cheers Dave

Hi Dave, I assume you mean the split. I have heard that bees can remove queen cells without a trace, however that hasn’t been my experience. If you can’t see any queen cells, then it’s too late for the bees to make a new queen with the old brood. I would suggest giving the bees a fresh frame of brood containing new worker eggs, so that they can have another go at making a new queen.

Thanks Jeff. Would it work if purchased a queen now?

Sometimes that can happen when a strong flow comes along and the bees change their mind apparently. It can also be artificially induced by removing too many brood frames and replace with nectar or foundation. I may be wrong though.

Hi Dave, you could try a new queen, however there is always a risk that a colony can reject her, which is why I chose the safer, less expensive option of adding new brood.

When doing a fifty/fifty split I just choose well covered healthy frames that also have a good honey arch.

If the queen ends up in the new brood box then the box that has been robbed will make a new queen.

Hives are more resilient than a lot of people believe.

The key is timing to give both hives the best chance of recovering quickly by not opening everything up too often. Watching the landing board gives you a good indication of what’s happening inside.

If I think recovery is a bit slow after a couple of weeks I split a banana and lay it on the top of the frames to get them moving.

Hi all new to this. Just wanted to clarify… we are getting our first split. Do I need a queen cell on it or a queen? Or do the bees make their own queen? We are in no rush so have time if this is the case. Thanks

You’d have to check with the person giving you the split.

Usually I would guess that they are giving you either a walk away split without a queen or queen cells, or maybe a swarm control split with one or more queen cells.

It’s possible they are introducing a mated or virgin queen or giving you the the mated queen from the parent colony.

But you’d have to ask them to clarify.