Marking a Queen

Well I’ve been blessed with two laying queens. In two separate hive. Both are now mated and laying. So I’m guessing around 4 weeks old.

I’m going to mark them but need to know if you need to wait till they are a particular age?

As long as they are laying nicely, and clearly accepted by the colony, you can mark them at any age

:wink:

I use these pens, cheap and non-toxic:

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Thanks Dawn.
Yes they seem to be laying well.

I can get those pens at a local store, Officeworks, here in Oz.

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I thought you would be able to, they are very widely available around the world. I use the medium tip, and make sure it is fully charged with marker fluid before applying it to the queen - you don’t want to be pressing on her to get the paint to flow! Pressing it onto a top bar a few times works, if you forget to do it before opening the hive… :blush:

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Thanks Dawn. Good advice :+1:

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Hi Daz, have you spotted the queens yet? The reason I ask is because some queens stand out like golden beacons, while others blend in with the bees, & can be difficult to spot. I would consider marking the latter, however I couldn’t see the point in marking the former, unless you wanted to mark them with the color code for this year, so you know how old she is going forward.

I’ve never marked queens. It’s good to be able to spot queens without looking for the mark. Having said that, there are times when I wished a queen was marked.

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I can’t remember what the queen in each hive looks like and sometimes I have been surprised to find an unmarked queen in charge - usually has been on a one month check after a formic acid treatment when the hive is really jam packed mid-late summer - but still, helps me realize the old queen has been superceded.

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Hi Jeff, yes i spotted the queens easily. i’m in two minds whether to mark or not.
If marked it would make it simplier and i can concentrate on other matters.

With the two hives, i’m not worried about marking for year, just so i can quickly spot her.

At the moment, i’m waiting for the QLD Health to contact me for a cateract operation. Which can take another 6 - 12 months on the public system So marking would help as my eye deteriate while i’m waiting

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Hi Daz, I think I’ll be in the same boat in relation to cataracts. I’m happy to plod on without marking queens. I don’t remember it being a thing when I started beekeeping. Maybe the first time I heard of it was watching you tube videos, or even on this forum.

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