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International Yearly Queen Bee Colouring Standards


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Although the color is sometimes randomly chosen, professional queen breeders use a colour that identifies the year a queen hatched, which helps them to decide whether their queens are too old to maintain a strong hive and need to be replaced.

 

See the table below:

5992e9e6ef83e_ScreenShot2011-09-12at8_59_08PM.png.a2488b320c8bf516fa4d82d8f18c1536.png

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Although the color is sometimes randomly chosen, professional queen breeders use a colour that identifies the year a queen hatched, which helps them to decide whether their queens are too old to maintain a strong hive and need to be replaced.

 

See the table below:

[ATTACH=full]22[/ATTACH]

Just curious.... has anyone raided their partners dressing table for nail varnish of appropriate colour for the year? Was it sucessfull? Did you manage to return it without it being noticed?

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Although the color is sometimes randomly chosen, professional queen breeders use a colour that identifies the year a queen hatched, which helps them to decide whether their queens are too old to maintain a strong hive and need to be replaced.

 

[see the table below:]

For which I was taught the nmonic "will you raise good bees.."

 

This interests me. The table works in the Northern Hemisphere; spring and autumn queens occur in the same calendar year, for example May and August. In NZ the season spans the year, maybe December and February. I took to marking mine changing the colour after each winter solstice, so they stayed in the same season. Is there a Southern Hemisphere convention?

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I've often wondered that about the seasonal crossover here, Dave.

 

So when you mark in, say, November, are you marking them for that calendar year's colour, or the 'season ending' colour, which would be the following calendar year?

 

We haven't marked queens to date, but in all other matters we refer to the season ending year - eg, the 2012 season spans 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012.

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I think of it this way. The June (and December) solstice - the winter solstice in either hemisphere - marks the end of the year. So on the 20th June 2012 we stop using yellow and change to red - the year (by the end of the season) ends in '3'. In the northern hemisphere, on December 21st 2012 they would stop using yellow and begin using red - when they mark queens in June and August it will be 2013. That's just the way I do it, it isn't any kind of agreed standard.

 

A couple comments on the posts before.

I have used 'Twinks' (tippex/white-out/correction fluid etc). I don't like the solvent based ones, and the water-based enviro-friendly ones don't dry quick enough. Definately an issue if she's popped straight into a cage with attendants but handy with a swarm. I cut the brush on a diagonal with nail-scissors so you get a fine point and a spot not a blot.

Nail polish; an excellent way of getting the queen balled, it's the acetone I'm sure. Often used but be very,very careful to let it dry.

I use coloured plastic dots that are numbered, and stick them on with a tiny spot of shellac on a toothpick, but I'm old and patient. Probably the marking pens are good and simple, especially if you're using a marking ring. Never tried 'em 'cos they cost too much and would dry up by the time I got to use them again!

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So on the 20th June 2012 we stop using yellow and change to red - the year (by the end of the season) ends in '3'. In the northern hemisphere, on December 21st 2012 they would stop using yellow and begin using red - when they mark queens in June and August it will be 2013. That's just the way I do it, it isn't any kind of agreed standard.

 

well, I agree with your standard. :) that's just the way I'd thought of it too.

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we stick to the chart above we've just always done it, We write all Q info on lid of hive so we know exactly how old she is or should be so when the time comes like now unfortunately even if she still looks ok and hive still mean, but her age is not shes gone no questions.

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I suspect that the colour coding convention came about in the Northern hemisphere - it's easy for us as we won't be rearing queen over the winter. And we're simple folk!

 

The marking pens actually last quite a while. They have a valve so they shouldn't dry up. Problem with them is if they get hot and you press the nib to open the valve, a large blob of paint comes out due to expansion of the contents so you have to be careful not to drown the queen by priming the pen first and then dibbing the end on the back of your hand before marking the thorax.

 

I've purchased disks and plan to use them for the first time this season.

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Couple of photos marking a Q never used discs but might start if its not to slow, not my best marking i actually need to put my glasses on but am a bit lazy in that department.

 

Sorry about the same photo it told me it didn't load but obviously did.

2012-03-24_17-59-51_338.jpg.25f255bf7d54f7ade99b9b31e721838d.jpg

2012-03-24_17-59-58_15.jpg.dc1a368f5c4e290d32595d676d987268.jpg

2012-03-24_17-59-58_15.jpg.b1ba5edd0d4218678ae4fe7b39ea4efb.jpg

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Dave,

Do you have any tips for putting them on without hassle?

Without hassle! Hmmm.

 

Prepare. Figure out where you'll do it. Trim your match stick or whatever so it holds just the right quantity of sticky, not big blobs. Use ONE end for dipping 'glue', lick the OTHER end to pick up the disk and remember which end is which. Line up your disks, the right way up and only what you need. Fix it so you don't tip your adhesive bottle over trying to open it with one hand. Now fetch your queen.

 

Now (sorry Tony, many apologies,) never mark your queen on the comb, and never, never hold her by the abdomen. Too much can go wrong. Approach her from the behind, and try to grasp her confidently by both wings, NOT one, or gently by the thorax, maybe head and thorax if you're a bit shaky. Use your right hand (if you're normal!). If you now offer her a middle finger from your left hand she will reach out and grasp it, and you can use your other fingers to gently trap all her legs high up near or on the thorax. She will curve to meet your finger and stay nice and calm. Need I say 'let go with right hand'? Now you can use your right hand to manipulate all your pre-prepared sticky/disky things. Alternatively pick her up from the front, and slip her into a cage (like picking up a worker) if you think she's a flight risk, and mark her in an enclosed space.

 

Don't waste your money on a marking ring. Don't be afraid of the young bees around the queen, and, before you start, mark all the drones you can find! :D

 

Tony, it's far too slow. Don't bother. ;)

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Ha dave all good advice and I agree and was wondering if any one would comment on that obviously nothing slips your eye, But don't fear dave i am quite confident marking Q's often do 50 plus a day in season and i do them holding in the air on the frame any where really and always with bare hands . And for anyone looking at these pictures dave is right about where to hold them, in this photo i did'nt have comfortable hold ( gently) on the Q and she slipped though the gate I was basicly doing her on the run and for those that are really looking you will notice the dot is very high and its for that reason, but i don't muck around either next hive.

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Ha dave all good advice and I agree and was wondering if any one would comment on that obviously nothing slips your eye, But don't fear dave i am quite confident marking Q's

I knew you were lurking! It's not you I worry about Tony I'm sure you manage just fine. Didn't think to mention bare hands though, do you think anyone would try with gloves on? Mind you, it is possible with those v. thin nitryl things I 'spose. Never tried.

 

Mate of mine always cut the thumb and two fingers off his gloves.

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yep tried it it was fascinating and I was like a little school boy when i first tried it could be handy if you want to pack attendants in the cages, but now just stick with the grab and paint.

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