Label a bee: Bees & Burlap — Customizable Label Design

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  • Bees & Burlap — Customizable Label Design

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    BB


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    • Description



    Description

    These labels are printed on WHITE water resistant stock only.

    The details for the wording of your labels may be entered under «ORDER COMMENTS» at checkout.  The box will appear during the 2nd step of checkout below the «Shipping Method» section. If this option is missed, wording may be provided via email. Send to [email protected] and please reference your order ID (if available). 

    Prices include a non-refundable fee covering two proofs, each set of two proofs after that would require an additional $35 fee.

    Lead time is currently: 10-12 business days after proof approval
      

    *Free shipping within the 48 contiguous states only. If the shipping address is outside this area, we will contact you with the additional amount due. Please be sure to provide accurate contact information when you are checking out.*

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    stickers, paints, markers, wing clipping

    Among the bees, the queen deserves special attention. To make it easier to find it among other bees and get certain information, beekeepers resort to marking. This provides a host of benefits. You can mark the uterus in different ways — each option has its own characteristics.

    Why do queens need to be tagged?

    Labeling of queens is carried out for various purposes. It greatly facilitates the work of the beekeeper, since it is problematic to find a queen among thousands of other bees, even taking into account her larger size. Marking is also carried out in order to obtain certain information on a particular individual or an entire apiary:

    • Age. Thanks to a special labeling system, you can find out the age of the uterus, since its egg production and the ratio of fertilized and unfertilized eggs depend on it (as the number of unfertilized eggs from which drones emerge increases with aging). In total, 5 flowers are used — one for each year, since the life expectancy of the uterus is an average of 5 years. The year of birth of an individual is determined according to the international system:
      • 2014, 2019 — green;
      • 2015, 2020 — blue;
      • 2016, 2021 — white;
      • 2017, 2022 — yellow;
      • 2018, 2023 — red.
    • Bee owner. This option is convenient during the swarming of bees, especially if there are several apiaries in the area. Beekeepers agree among themselves and choose each color of the label.
    • Beehive in the apiary. Marking according to this principle helps during the swarming of bees and if the queen gets lost.
    • The origin of the individual. Queens are tagged for breeding work, breed differences, tracking the quality of an individual and the productivity of herself and her offspring.
    • Queen replacement time.
    • Isolation of barren queens before mating.
    • Tracking cases of silent change of uterus.
    • Record keeping of queens.

    Methods for marking queens

    Beekeepers mark queens in various ways. Choose the appropriate option depending on your own preferences and tagging goals.

    Special stickers for tagging

    This method is attractive due to its simplicity and minimum preparatory work. For labeling, special stickers (singers) are used, the material for which is usually foil, a plastic curved body.

    There are special five-year sticker sets, ie a specific color is used for each year. Numbering from 1 to 100 may also be provided — this option is convenient for selection work.

    Such labels are glued with BF medical glue or a special tool in the kit (usually an alcohol solution). To mark the uterus, a small drop of the composition is applied to the area between the wings and the sticker is quickly applied, slightly pressing on it. The marked individual must be kept in the cage for some time — this is necessary for the glue to dry and the label to be securely fastened.

    An experienced beekeeper in the video below shows and explains how to mark queens with singe marks:

    Marking queens with paint

    Using paint to mark queens is a common method. The coloring composition can be purchased at a specialized store for beekeepers or a veterinary pharmacy. For marking, a color system by year, a specific color for a particular apiary, or any other option convenient for the beekeeper can be used.

    Marking paint must be of a certain consistency. If necessary, acetone is used to dilute it, since an excessively thick composition will curl up. It should not be strongly diluted, as liquid paint will spread and can harm the insect.

    It is easier to apply the paint with a thin brush. A diameter of 1-1.5 cm is enough. You can use one brush, washing it with acetone each time, but it is more convenient to purchase several devices — separately for each color. You can replace the tool with a match or a toothpick.

    Marking is carried out according to the following algorithm:

    1. Take the insect with the right hand and place it in the left hand (for left-handed people, vice versa). It is necessary to hold the uterus with the thumb and forefinger so that its abdomen is near the nail of the middle finger.
    2. Abdomen must not be touched.
    3. A colored circle is made on the back of the insect. Its dimensions should be no more than 3 mm.
    4. Place the insect in the cage to dry the paint. Half an hour is enough for this, but for safety it is better to wait 1-1.5 hours.

    Marking paint is applied exclusively to the back of the insect. The substance must not come into contact with its wings or head. Beginners are advised to use drones or worker bees for training — the loss of several individuals of this status is not terrible.

    How to mark the queen with paint is shown in the video below:

    Marking bees with paint has several disadvantages: the inability to number individuals due to their size, the fragility of the composition (it wears off quickly enough, and besides, the bees are in a hurry to clean their queen from fresh paint) and toxicity. There is also a risk of disturbing the hive, as the paint has a specific odor. This factor must be taken into account when choosing the composition, as well as after its application — the longer you keep the bee separately, the better the smell will disappear.

    Some beekeepers use nail polish instead of paint. This option is attractive low cost and a rich selection of colors. The varnish does not last long, so it is convenient to use it for specific purposes, for example, marking infertile queens.

    Marking queens with a marker

    Special marking markers have become an excellent alternative to paints. They are easy to use even for beginners in beekeeping. An important advantage of the composition used is the absence of toxicity, which means harmlessness to insects. Markers are convenient to carry with you — they fit in your pocket, you can mark an individual at any time. The advantages include the stability of the composition — trusted manufacturers use high-quality dyes that are resistant to ultraviolet radiation and water.

    Marking the uterus with a marker using a special ring

    Colored markers are used for marking. In the assortment you can find not only 5 primary colors, but also other options. This allows you to develop your own marking system for each apiary.

    Wing clipping

    This method should only be used by professional beekeepers as there is a high risk of damaging the queen. If there are several bee colonies in the apiary, then to distinguish between the queens, their wings are cut in a special way — on the right or left, a certain half, to a specific length.

    Often the trimming feature is oriented to the year — in an odd year, wings are trimmed on one side, in an even year, on the opposite side. This option is effective because queens are usually replaced every 2 years.

    In any case, act according to the following algorithm:

    1. Hold the individual by the breast with the left hand, fixing it with the thumb and forefinger. The wings should be free.
    2. Cut off half of the defined wing. For this, you need to use small and sharply sharpened scissors with rounded ends so as not to accidentally injure the uterus.

    Wing clipping is carried out after mating of the queen, when she has already begun to lay eggs. This marking method has an undeniable advantage — the prevention of swarming.

    Many modern beekeepers consider wing clipping to be barbaric and prefer to use paints, markers or stickers instead. It is believed that the clipped wings of the uterus adversely affect its vital activity and efficiency.

    When marking queens by clipping their wings, there is a risk that the rest of the colony will perceive her as unhealthy and damaged. In this case, a change of queen may occur.

    The disadvantage of the method is the fact that clipped wings do not highlight the uterus very well. Among other bees, it is also problematic to find it, and in order to identify the features of pruning, an individual must be carefully examined. Color spots and numbering are much more effective.

    Marking features of queens

    It is recommended to mark queens immediately after they leave the queen cell. During this period, individuals are in a calm state, are kept in special cells.

    An experienced beekeeper can mark the queen right next to the nest. The insect can fly away during the process, so it is recommended to mark in front of a closed window — it is most convenient to catch a bee on glass. This option is especially good when it is necessary to mark infertile queens — they fly very well.

    A special cap or ring can be used for easy labeling. The ring is used if the uterus needs to be marked with a marker, paint or sticker. With this device, the individual is slightly pressed down. This option allows you to mark the uterus directly on the comb, but only with a marker — the paint does not have time to dry, so the worker bees will simply clean it off.

    Caps are used to mark the bee’s head. This option is useful when using markers.

    For the convenience of marking queens, a special tube is also used, resembling a syringe in design. One end of the tube is limited by a grating against which the individual will be pressed during the process. The uterus is pressed with a piston, which has a soft base made of foam rubber — it allows you not to damage the bee.

    See the following video for marking queens with a Flaubert tube:

    When marking queens according to the international system, colored buttons for frames (beehives) are also used. The color of the queen label should match the color of the button. Instead, you can make a mark on the frame or hive with the appropriate paint.

    Queen marking is an important process in the apiary. With its help, the work of the beekeeper is greatly facilitated — he can quickly find the queen among thousands of other bees, get certain information on a particular individual. Marking is carried out in different ways. Each method has its own characteristics, advantages and disadvantages.

    Publication author

    Queen markers and tags

    Experienced beekeepers use different methods to mark queens:
    opalite marks, special paints, markers. It is necessary to mark the uterus not only
    in order to easily find her environment as a worker bee, but also for others
    purposes: for example, to determine the age of the uterus, who is its owner, from what
    hive to distinguish between origin and breed, do not miss the queen replacement time,
    identify infertile queens, keep records, etc.

    Recently, special
    markers for labeling queens. Of course, the marker has many advantages: firstly,
    it has become an excellent alternative to paints that easily spread and emit
    toxic substances; secondly, it can easily mark the uterus with a marker even
    beginner beekeeper. The marker is convenient to carry in your pocket, so mark
    the uterus can be at any time. It is important to note that the markers are non-toxic, which means that
    do not harm insects. Proven manufacturers use in the composition
    high-quality dyes resistant to water and ultraviolet radiation.

    Typically 5 colors are used, one for each year. Colors
    marks by years according to the international system:

    2014, 2019 —
    green;

    2015, 2020 –
    blue;

    2016, 2021 –
    white;

    2017, 2022 –
    yellow;

    2018, 2023 –
    red.

    Markers from various manufacturers
    differ in composition. More often found on a water, varnish and oil basis.
    Let’s analyze the advantages and disadvantages:

    Poska(Japan) :

    v
    Acrylic water based

    v
    Odorless

    v
    Safe

    v
    Long lasting

    v
    Intense color

    Uni Paint (Mistubisi, Vietnam):

    v
    Oil based lacquer

    v
    Gives off odor

    v
    Safe

    v
    The most stable due to its base

    Paint (Korea):

    v
    Oil based

    v
    Gives off odor

    v
    Safe

    v
    Good stability

    v
    Usually cheaper than other brands

    Queen Marker (China ):

    v
    Acrylic water based

    v
    Odorless

    v
    Bee safe

    v
    Long lasting

    v
    Great alternative to more expensive Japanese
    marker

    Edding (Germany):

    v
    Lacquer base

    v
    Odorless

    v
    Safe

    v
    Lasts a long time

    And so, we realized that a special marker is convenient and safe
    queen labeling method.

  • By alexxlab

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