What did you do in the bee yard today? April 12, 2014

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This beautiful weather found me making (only slightly) panicked inspections of my hives after work in the evenings, two at a time.  Reports of a swarm a few miles away gave extra urgency to my already-planned visits.  While I did not see any swarm cells this week, I took the opportunity to mark the queens I found.  This will help me when the swarming/splitting season does get under way here.  I mark queens more to know their age than to help locate them in the hive–useful information when making splits or trying to figure out where that surprise swarm originated from.  Unfortunately, a few of these queens were marked last fall and had lost their paint dots.  I am currently using the UniPosca pens sold by many beekeeping suppliers.  I’ve been mostly very happy with them; they are non-toxic, easy to use.  Has anyone had particularly good (or bad) luck with a marking system?  If so, I would love to hear from you!

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