How The Beekeepers Mark Queens?

How The Beekeepers Mark Queens?

Queen Marking Tools:

Several essential Queen Marking Tools can assist beekeepers in marking bee queens: Queen Bee Catcher Cage Clip,  Queen Cage, the Queen Catcher, and the Bee Marked Pen.

1. Queen Bee Clip

The lightweight spring-loaded queen bee clip allows easy one-handed operation, providing control and convenience during queen bee handling.

2. Queen Cage:

The Queen Cage serves as a valuable tool for marking queens. To utilize this cage, locate the queen and press the prongs gently into the comb until the cage securely envelopes her. It’s essential to exercise care and gentleness during this process to avoid any damage to the queen.

 This particular tool is designed to temporarily trap the queen for a brief period, typically a couple of minutes, rather than confining her for days or weeks.

3. Queen Catcher:

The Queen Catcher is a handy device that allows beekeepers to capture the queen on the surface of a frame. By gently sliding the door of the catcher over the opening, the queen is prevented from flying away. This device is designed for single-handed use, although it may require some practice to perfect the technique.

The Queen Catcher’s door features grooves that allow worker bees to exit while keeping the queen securely inside. This convenient feature ensures that the queen remains immobilized while the marking process takes place. With your index finger, slide the padded plunger upward until the queen is gently pressed against the grooved door. The key lies in achieving the delicate balance of immobilizing the queen without causing harm.

4. Bee Marked Pen:

When it comes to marking queens, the industry-standard tool is the Bee Marked Pen. Beekeepers favor this queen marking pen due to its exceptional performance, despite it not being specifically tailored for their trade. The paint used in these pens is water-based and non-toxic, ensuring the queen’s safety throughout the marking process. Furthermore, the color adheres to the queen’s body for her entire lifespan, further enhancing the utility of the pen.

Preparing the Bee Marked Pen for use requires priming. The pen features a spring-loaded tip, so before marking the queen, it’s essential to wet the tip. This can be accomplished by shaking the pen vigorously and pressing the end until the paint flows into the tip. To remove any excess paint, practice marking on a hard surface. 

queen bee box

Why Do Beekeepers Mark Queens?

Beekeepers around the world often engage in the practice of marking queens, a common option when purchasing bees. Whether you attend beekeeping club meetings or explore online resources about queens, you’ll frequently encounter discussions among beekeepers about marking queens. For new beekeepers entering the realm of hive management, it becomes a popular inquiry when acquiring new hives. But what exactly is the purpose behind this practice?

In truth, marking queens is not an essential requirement for the well-being of the bees themselves and can even pose risks if not executed correctly. Beekeepers opt to mark their queens by applying a colored dot of paint or using a marker to easily track them. This practice proves particularly useful when a queen decides to leave the hive during a swarm or when her colony replaces her. In such cases, if a replacement occurs, the beekeeper may fail to notice the new queen and lose track of her age.

By marking the queen with a paint pen, beekeepers can effectively keep tabs on her. Should the bees swarm or replace the queen, it becomes readily apparent that a new queen has taken her place, as the new queen will lack the distinguishing mark. The colors used for marking queens represent the years, empowering beekeepers to monitor the queen’s age with ease. Since most honeybee queens live for approximately 1-3 years, the colored dot aids beekeepers in making informed management decisions based on the queen’s age.

bee queen mark pen

Moreover, for beginner beekeepers or those facing visual challenges, a marked queen offers a significant advantage in locating her within the colony. When a queen possesses a distinct blue dot on her back, she effortlessly stands out from the crowd, facilitating quick identification.

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How The Beekeepers Mark Queens?

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