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Be Warned You Require Gloves

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SixFooter 

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Hi,

Why dont the established beeks stick to the correct colour for the year when marking queens? It seems to me like a sensible scheme to follow.
 

Hivemaker. 

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You don't have to wear gloves when marking a queen as they are not likely to sting you. But for general work they keep any propolis from gumming up your fingers,and rubber types are easy to clean.
 

mbc 

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I've read the correct colour for years ending in .... so many times and I still forget every time. Can anybody remember offhand without checking ? Yellows easilly visible, so is red ( though you do getqueen paint coloured propolis to confuse you!)most beeks i Know use whatever colour pen is in their pocket
 

Poly Hive 

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I don't because yellow marked queens on rape are pretty invisible.

You find colours that suit and stick to them which in my case are red green and blue.

In theory it is sensible enough but overly fussy and so long as you know the age of your queen what's the odds.

PH
 
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I hadn't heard the Be Warned You Require Gloves mnemonic before, the one I remember is Why You Rear Good Bees, which seems more natural and if you can remember it starts with the year ending in a 1 it is all you need, i.e. 2001 is white, 2002 yellow and so on until 2006 when the cycle repeats with white again. This year is of course blue.
 

mbc 

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over my head that one ... I did wonder why the thread had that title !!!!
 

oliver90owner 

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Whoever started it was a bit err "off", IMO.

Every sensible system operates in the order of the electromagnetic spectrum - light - rainbow! Not the KISS principle in operation here!

I have no hope of seeing reds and greens easily. If I mark, I only do it to know she has not been superceded. But I don't market queens or nucs.

Regards, RAB
 

VEG 

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I only ever use white to mark my queens. Then keep a note of what year she is from
 

andypigeon 

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i have marked a queen to day with blue shes a very dark black and you can hardly see the blue.
 

SixFooter 

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Sorry, I assumed everyone used the same aide memoire ( cant spell numonic). If you catch a swarm, you cant tell from the colour of the queen marking, how old she is.
 

Repwoc 

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Mix some white with the blue it will make it much easier to see on a dark substrate (ie the bee).
 

Adam 

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Hi,

Why dont the established beeks stick to the correct colour for the year when marking queens? It seems to me like a sensible scheme to follow.
Because white and yellow are the worst colours for marking a queen relative to the incoming foragers covered in pollen. Have you ever looked for a white queen when the water balsum is flowing? It's like having 25,000 dotted bees in a colony.

I know how old my queens are from my hive records. If it's someone else swarm they sill most likely superseded in the autumn so it makes not a jot of relevance anyway.

I find blue and green significantly easier to spot against the background of pollen so stick to those.

Besides, mostly noone else looks in my hives so it's not really relevent.

Finally, and a minor point, why waste money/ our precious environment buying/having 5 pens made when one will last you a lifetime.


Adam
 

jbr 

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The colour's not the problem - spotting the blinkin' queen in the first place to mark her is the problem!!! Needle in a haystack etc......
 

oliver90owner 

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JBR,

Method and timing! Mark your queens while at the nuc size, not wait until a full colony.

Or do it in the spring (careful - better to wait until laterin the year if you have no spares!) when fewer bees.

Divide brood in two, if double brood with a Q/E. She will be in the half with eggs, after three days.

Divide those frames, or at least the frames with brood, into two (or three) separate boxes - the queenless ones will soon be obvious from sound and movement.

From a huge double brood you are now down to 5, or less, frames. She is likely on a frame with brood; separate them into pairs and look on the inner faces after a couple of minutes.

Do it systematically and it is (usually) staightforward and not that hard. KISS principle in operation. Don't make life hard for yourself!

Try not to smoke them heavily or she may well scurry away and hide in a crevice. She will often be hiding just where the comb is holed and will move away from the light. You may easily spot her, from her size on the comb, when quietly parting two frames.

Hope that lot helps a bit.

Regards, RAB
 

Mike a 

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I think correctly marking a queen is irrelevant unless you intend to sell them. If you keep hive records its perfectly reasonable to mark your queens with what ever colour suits you best.

What does it matter to the person who collects your bees if she is marked red, green, blue or whatever?

None really. What ever year the queen is doesn't matter to them as long as she begins to lay a few fertilized eggs as the swarm collector isn't likely to come banging on my front door complaining I didn't use the correct colour

I bought a luminous orange to mark my queens so if they swarm and one or two of my fellow association members collects them they know what colour I use and they can return the swarm to me as I would for them. (If they want to of course)
 

Rosti 

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The colour's not the problem - spotting the blinkin' queen in the first place to mark her is the problem!!! Needle in a haystack etc......
Praise be brother, I am with you there! After 18 months I have only just been able to mark my original "head b1tch" and it's been so long that I don't even know if it's her any more! Blue incase you are wondering - ordered green, blue arrived, c'est la vie!
 

admin 

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Rosti you should of said,I am sure there are loads of us with green pens to give away from last year.

I dont see the point in keeping them over 5 years and them have them dry up just when you need to mark a queen.
 

Poly Hive 

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Mostly because swarms are headed by unmarked and of course unclipped queens. I have never had a marked one yet.

Though why if you have a queen in your fingers you dinna clip her at the same time is beyond me.

PH
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Clipping isn't as difficult as you might think; it's just the nerves that get you!

I use white as all my kids are colour blind and can't see colours.
"Look, there's the queen with the red dot."
"What red dot Dad? There isn't one"

I blame their mother!
 

johna 

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Buy small tubes of artists acrylic paint and a box of matches,take off cap and dip end of match in hole ,out it comes with a nice little blob of very quick drying paint.These tubes cost a fraction of the price of the "official" marker pens and last for years if you remember to replace the cap after use.I bought my set about 15 years ago and the'yre still going strong.
 
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