Utah Beekeepers' Association

As Currently Organized since 1892; Serving and Representing Utah's Beekeepers Since the Early 1860's.

Queen Rearing and Bee Breeding

Backyard Queen Rearing Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association
Bee Varieties Breeding and Genetics of Honey Bees
Cell Plug Boxes for Raiding Queens (Nicot and Jenter) Cloake Board Method of Raising Queens
Cloake Board Method of Queen Rearing Cloake Board Queen Rearing
Dave Cushman's Beekeeping and Bee Breeding Domesticated vs Feral Bees
Drone Congregation Areas Drone Saturation for Small-Scale Operations
Effective Queen Introduction Finding Queens
Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, & Physiology (USDA, ARS) Joe Lewis Queen rearing Calendar Wheel
Map My DCA Mel Disselkoen OTS Queen Rearing
Nicot Queen-Rearing System Nicot System
Push-In Cage for Queen Introduction Queen Cages
Queen Catching and Marking Queen Introductions
Queen Manual Queen-Marking Colors
Queen Math Queen-Rearing App for Android
Queen Rearing by Michael Bush Queen-Rearing Calendar (BeeYard)
Queen-Rearing Calendar (BeeYard) Queen-Rearing Calendar (Chitwood)
Queen-Rearing Calendar (Jason Chrisman) Queen-Rearing Calendar (Nicot)
Queen-Rearing Calendar (Ohio Beekeepers) Queen-Rearing Calendar Wheel
Queen Rearing: How to Raise a Few Good Queens Queen Rearing (Jenter Cell-Plug Method)
Queen-Rearing Time Table Queens for Pennies by Randy Oliver
Queens for Sale Raising Queen Cells Without Grafting - Cut Cell Method
Rearing Queens Via The Cloake Board Method Rocky Mountain Survivor Queen Bee Coop
Selection of Varroa-Tolerant Honey Bees Using Drone-Breeding Worker Bees
Simple Queen Rearing
Small-Scale Queen Rearing
Testing for Hygienic Behavior
There Are Queen Cells In My Hive – What Should I Do?
Using the Cloake Board Method to Raise Queens
Why Rear Your Own Queens?

Marking a Queen Bee

It is common practice to mark the queen with a small spot of paint on her back (thorax). A color code exists within the beekeeping industry to indicate the year the queen was introduced.

Color: For Years Ending In:
White or Grey 1 or 6
Yellow 2 or 7
Red 3 or 8
Green 4 or 9
Blue 5 or 0

A paint pen, model car paint, or fingernail polish may be used to mark the queen. The identifying mark should be small, so that it does not cover any other part of the queen. A 1/16" stick, lightly dipped in paint, is a good applicator if you don't have a paint pen. Generally, queens are marked before being introduced. They can; however, be marked at any time. Paint should be given ample time to dry before the queen is released into the colony. In fact, queens may be purchased already marked by the queen producer.

Some beekeepers also identify queens by clipping the tip of the tip of one forewing. If queens are replaced every two years, the beekeeper clips the left wing(s) on queens introduced in odd years, and the right on queens introduced in even years. The clipping practice may also supplement the paint spot technique as a back-up should the queen lose her paint mark. If clipped correctly, the queen will not be able to fly. However, if clipped too closely, the queen may appear damaged and be superseded.

See also Queen Catching and Marking.

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