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International Yearly Queen Bee Colouring Standards

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Yep im sure thats whats in our mig welder bottle, I've only played with it its not a normal routine.

I'm no scientest but isn't NO2 not really designed to be breathed in?

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I seem to remember researchers (like Tom Seeley) use CO2 to knock down ALL the workers in a colony so every one can be marked and studied. Some labs went to NO2 and found this also cause amnesia, so some beeks use it to relocate hives/splits and avoid the usual rules.


Something I have in the back of my mind when listening to OMF talk. Part of what allows a colony to over-winter is hypoxia, not just heat conservation. Bees in a central core of the cluster induce a state where the O2 is very much lower than normal, and CO2 higher. Their metabolic rate and store consumption plummets. This is the natural effect of CO2 AI guys are using to good effect.


If you can mark up your queens 'back at the office' you'd be able to do a very fancy job on a sleeping queen!

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This was posted in another 'forum', the Bee-L community, I thought it interesting given some of the remarks in the thread here. Thanks to PL Borst at Cornell.


CHANGES IN THE BEHAVIOUR OF HONEY-BEES FOLLOWING THEIR RECOVERY FROM ANAESTHESIA BY C. R. RIBBANDS Bee Research Department, Rothamsted Experimental Station, Harpenden (Received 20 January 1950)


1. Chloroform anaesthesia did not impair the memory, change the foraging behaviour, or reduce the longevity of the treated bees; chloroform is therefore a satisfactory anaesthetic for use in experiments on bee behaviour.

2. Carbon dioxide anaesthesia did not impair the memory of treated bees, but it did induce a permanent change in their behaviour. Their pollen-collecting tendencies were either eliminated or suffered very marked reduction. Experiments with foraging bees of known age indicated that the carbon dioxide treatments had no direct effect on longevity. Treatment of recently emerged bees with carbon dioxide eliminated all or most of their brood-rearing and wax-secreting activities and caused them to forage at an early age. Foraging life is more hazardous than life within the 310 C. R. RIBBANDS hive, and therefore the expectation of life of these carbon-dioxide treated bees was less than that of the controls.

3. The effects of nitrogen anaesthesia were similar to those obtained with carbon dioxide. The factor common to both treatments is oxygen lack.

4. The theoretical and practicable possibilities of these results are discussed.

Another effect of CO2 upon the honey-bee has already been [noted] by Mackensen (1947). He showed that queen honey-bees which have been instrumentally inseminated commence laying a week or more earlier after CO2 anaesthesia than they do after some other anaesthetics, and that uninseminated virgins subjected to similar treatment are soon caused to lay unfertilized eggs. Mackensen's results are complementary to those of Janisch (1924). Janisch exposed to CO2 for short periods (less than 1 min) the females of three species of grain pests; he concluded that these insects were 'artificially aged', so that they went through their potential mating period, and that the treatments thus made them sterile.

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"Approach her from the behind, and try to grasp her confidently" You've got my chat-up line to a tee!

"If you now offer her a..." I'd better stop there!



I've marked plenty, never stuck a disk on. Thanks for the long and clear description. the pick-up and glue with a matchstick is something I'll try.


Thin disposable gloves are fine, I can pick up queens with them without a problem - just grasp the wings and then transfer to the other hand to hold.


Usually .. I would have some mated queens by now to try on but the weather has been so bad here I've not started queen rearing yet.

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