It is common practice to mark our queens with a colour code to identify the year in which she was born. As a queen is never usually kept for longer than a few years, just 5 colours are used internationally.
Hover over the boxes below for more information.
The colour codes for
queen marking are:
WHITE for years ending in 1 or 6
YELLOW for years ending in 2 or 7
RED for years ending in 3 or 8
GREEN for years ending in 4 or 9
BLUE for years ending in 5 or 0
QUEEN MARKING PENS
There are various options availble for the marking of queens from marking pens to model paint. The identifying mark should be small, so that it does not cover any other part of the queen other than her thorax.
CROWN OF THORNS
This is the "Crown of Thorns" and we use this device to trap the queen on a frame and gently squeeze her into the wire frame. The pins are arranged to allow other bees to escape from the crown - but not the queen!
See the image above!
QUEEN CLIP CATCHER
This basic device is used to capture the queen inside the clip. Often used when it is necessary to temporarily put the queen somewhere safe. Workers can escape from the clip but the queen cannot.
ONE HANDED QUEEN CATCHER
This useful device can be positioned over a queen and the tube then closed with the thumb - all with one hand.
Once inside, the queen can be positioned against the roof of the tube where she can be marked on her thorax.
QUEEN MARKING TUBE
This basic device is used to capture the queen inside the tube. Once the queen is inside the tube, the foam plunger is used to push her up to the roof where she can be gently held in position for marking.