Marking the queen

Finding the queen

Finding the queen

John the bees came a few weeks ago to check on progress and mark the queen for me. When we opened the hive we found the bees were doing very nicely. Lots of healthy brood (eggs and larvae), lots of stores of honey and pollen.

We needed to find and mark the queen. Marking the queen makes it easier to see her when you are checking the hive in spring and summer to make sure she is present and laying and to distinguish her from any new queen that may have appeared. Five different colours are used to show the age of the queen (important if you have several hives)

marking the queen bee

Marking the queen bee

year ending in 5 or 0 – blue
year ending in 1 0r 6 – white
year ending in 2 or 7 – yellow
year ending in 3 or 8 – red
year ending in 4 or 9 – green

John marked the queen and clipped her wings. If they swarm next year, the queen won’t get very far and the bees stay with her. They’ll be easy to find – just under the hive – so easy to collect.

Apiguard treatment

Now is the time to start treating the hive against Varroa mite. This mite has been causing havoc. in bee colonies.  It carries a number of viruses and our bees have little resistance to it. So, it’s out with the chemical weapons, more specifically, thymol. A tray of thymol in a gel is placed in the hive for 4 weeks to kill the mites. We did this and closed up the hive.

Advertisements

2 comments on “Marking the queen

  1. I have kept bees for three years and have never been able to identify my queens, so am quite envious of anyone who has managed to mark their queens!

    • I’m very lucky having an experienced beekeeper (local bee inspector) as my mentor. He came and marked the queen for me! When you join the local beekeeping association (http://www.scbeekeepers.co.uk/) they help you get a nuc and set you up with a mentor. I’ve found that really helpful and John is great with quick responses to emails when I’ve got questions or concerns about the bees.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s