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Rosti 

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Background: 1st year keeping, unexpected earlier than planned start (was buying this year for a 2010 spring start) since my second hand hive was adopted by a swarm while I was checking how it went together! Makes me a foster carer rather than a keeper. No beginner course places available and local association not very active so limited to bu**er all support from local association.

Question: The year has gone well but with a conscious decision not to handle or mark the queen to date (confidence issue / fear of damaging her).
1. I plan to leave marking until the spring when easier to find and isolate her and easier to recover from unintentional damage. Do you agree?
2. Your prefered / best method to capture and handle the queen whilst marking.

Views much appreciated. Regards, Rosti :confused:
 

hedgerow pete 

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yes its easier in spring to find her , less bees in hive

as for techniques try the hair dreesers curler or the bee tube and if all else fails try the jab with the tippex brush, it worked for my newbees this year because the one lady still has issues with bare hands and bee stings
 
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I tried 2 different methods of marking this year and neither was perfect. The first was the tube and plunger type. Managed to get the queen in ok but I let go of the tube and it fell on the queen, luckily it didn't do any damage. I would have thought the plunger would have been a little tighter in the tube. Lesson learned - try equipment before using it. Second method was a plastic push in crown of thorns type, only problem was the workers were non too keen on the smell of the marker.
 
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I think crown of thorns type easy to use.

I've decided not to risk using markers/tippex that pose a potential risk to the Q being rejected after seeing one of my Q's balled and have invested in a proper marker the type sold by thornes. There's a new orange one which you can use in any year. It works a treat and no smell.
 

mikethebee 

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Easy way to learn how to handle the queen,
Pick up the drones off the frame on every visit hold them in right and left hand change them to belly up, then turn um round try all ways then mark with dark blue to black biro pen
When you can pick up a worker from the back of the wings and not get stung is the time to try to mark the queen then your confident.
 

Bcrazy 

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For this once I agree with mike.
Pick the queen up by her wings and place on index finger with her legs on either side. Gently close the thumb so trapping her lags on one side. Mark and clip if that's your choice.

Regards;
 

victor meldrew 

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For this once I agree with mike.
Pick the queen up by her wings and place on index finger with her legs on either side. Gently close the thumb so trapping her lags on one side. Mark and clip if that's your choice.

Regards;
I've witnessed a technique whereby the queen is caught under a crown of thorns, backed up so a wing poked through the mesh, then held there by applying pressure . It's then simle to clip a bit off the wing poking through, marking her and then releasing her 'Shimples'.
Certainly makes it less hazardous to queenie when you have age related tremor :(.

John
 

Rosti 

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Thanks all, I've been abusing drones for some time now but I think I'll try some extreme drone abuse aka Mikes suggestion while they are still around and then mark in the spring. Thanks all. R
 

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