Queen Found & Marked in B/P Hive

Have you ever played the "Where's Waldo" game?

I don't know how many Waldo look-a-likes are in each game, but finding the 1 queen in a hive with 30,000+ bees is quite a challenge.

I was pretty excited when in mid April the bees created their own queen (in an attempt to swarm).  I made a split with the old queen, leaving them to raise their own new queen.

She hatched, flew away to be mated, and eventually we saw eggs from the new queen.

Ever since, it's been a challenge to find her and get her marked.

Today I decided to separate the top brood box from the lower during an entire inspection, eliminating the opportunity for her to move between boxes and hide.

I found her on frame 7 of the top box, and scooped her up into the marking tube.

I placed a dot of white paint on her and set her aside (I know this year's color is yellow, but white is all I had).

She made a lot of racket while she was sitting in the queen marking tube, beating her wings hard and running around in circles, impatiently waiting for me to release her.

Once the dot of paint dried, I released her back into the frames of brood where I found her, and she was welcomed back by her attendants.

While I had her safely inside the marking tube, I took the opportunity to take a full frame of brood, eggs and pollen and donate it to the Pheonix hive. I've been wanting to do this the last two weeks, but not knowing where the queen was for sure in the B/P hive prevented me from donating a frame. I didn't want to donate a frame that had the queen on it!

The Phoenix hive only has two frames of brood and eggs going, and the extra nurse bees and brood should help stimulate the queen in there to lay faster and help get them back on their feet.

I'm glad I found her, and to see how large she is. I suppose we must have a good DCA (Drone Congregation Area) around where I live.

Comments For This Post: (2) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Dale McIntyre says...
Date:   October 12, 2014, 1:08 pm

I looked at this article to find out what kind of paint you used, but I can't find it. Will some types of paint hurt the queen? What kind should I use, and what is the color code for each year?
Dale McIntyre

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   October 13, 2014, 11:16 am

Hi Dale,

Excellent questions!
I use the UniPOSCA brand marker, which is what Dadant also sells, although you can find this in just about any craft or hobby store and not spend money on shipping.

Here's an article I did about what paint colors corresponds to the year, and a video of how I applied the paint to the queen.

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