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Tips on how to safely mark a queen bee in order that you know the way previous she is and to extra simply determine her throughout periodic hive wellness checks.
My beehive journey continues following the requeening of my beehive and the premature retirement of her predecessor, Aurora.
It was time to mark the brand new queen, which I aptly named Scarlett. You will discover out why beneath!
There are a few main advantages to taking the time to mark the queen of a bee colony, significantly for a brand new beekeeper like me nonetheless studying the ropes!
Marked Queens Are Simpler to Discover
First, marking the queen makes it a lot simpler to seek out her throughout common beehive checks.
If you take away a panel out of your beehive to examine for wholesome ranges of nectar, pollen and larva, discovering the queen could be a problem with actually 1000’s of bees transferring round!
Whereas the queen is bigger than the employee bees and drones, marking her with a tiny dot on the dorsal aspect of her higher stomach makes it a a lot simpler course of!
Shade Signifies Queen Bee’s Age
Secondly, if in case you have a number of beehives (I intend to develop my colonies past simply the one I’ve now), you will need to mark the queens so you know the way previous each is.
Queen bees usually stay for about 2-3 years.
Thus, the colour of the queen’s marking makes it simple to determine how previous she is and what the timeframe is likely to be for her continued productiveness inside the bee colony.
Which Shade to Use? Queen Bee Shade Marking Information
For instance, this 12 months…2023…is a crimson 12 months for queen bees. Therefore, the title of my new queen…Scarlett!
Which means queens born throughout this 12 months ought to be marked with a crimson dot.
It is vitally necessary to ONLY use unhazardous paint specifically designed for bees for marking the queen.
By no means ever use nail polish or a sharpie which might be toxic to her.
Here’s a brand of nontoxic bee pens to make use of that’s innocent to her and the hive.
In abstract, the 12 months a queen bee is born determines what shade she is marked with.
- White: Queens born in years that finish with 1 and 6 are marked with a white dot.
- Yellow: Queens born in years that finish with 2 and seven are marked with a yellow dot.
- Crimson: Queens born in years that finish with 3 and eight are marked with a crimson dot.
- Inexperienced: Queens born in years that finish with 4 and 9 are marked with a inexperienced dot.
- Blue: Queens born in years that finish in 0 and 5 are marked with a blue dot.
Tips on how to Mark the Queen Bee
Upon getting your queen marking cage and unhazardous marking pens, you’re prepared to position a dot in your queen bee!
Under is a video of the three-step course of that Beekeeper John of Gem Apiaries, taught me for protected and easy marking of the queen in my beehive.
- Gently seize the queen from a beehive body within the queen marking tool.
- Slowly scale back the quantity of house that the queen has to maneuver round.
- As soon as the queen is accessible by the openings on the highest of the marking device, use the suitable shade of nontoxic bee pen to position a dot on her higher stomach (dorsal aspect).
See the method unfold within the brief video beneath!