The queen we have is not marked. She is also at least a year old.
Sometimes I find her, and sometimes I just see the eggs (I think they are eggs) and brood so I know she is there. I like the idea if the queen being marked so I can know where she is and be extra careful and do not squish her accidentally.
How easy it is to catch the queen with one of those catchers? I admit I am terrified attempting to catch her, and mark her. I know practice makes perfect but I really don’t want to practice on my viable queen. Is there any equipment which is easier/safer for these tasks?
Does everyone just replace their queen every two years regardless of her performance? And if so when is the optimal time of year to let the colony make a new one with the least possible disruption to the hive - just before spring?
Thank you for your time to help me.