Author Topic: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax  (Read 2814 times)

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Offline Jen

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Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« on: May 05, 2017, 01:38:54 am »
Today I went to a friend’s house to show her how to mark her 3 queens. She’s a 40 year beekeeper, doesn’t have good vision anymore but still wants to do her own beekeeping, she simply wants to spot the queen when she splits. We practiced on drones first, then she did the first queen, all went well. Moved to the second hive, gave the queen a nice neon yellow mark, put her into a wooden queen cage to dry for about three minutes, then lifted the wire netting and she went limp, looked like she was dead. We were distraught! But kept watching her… 
Queen didn’t move for about 3 minutes. Then, all of a sudden, her abdomen started pumping, and slowly over a couple minutes she came back to life and was crawling around the cage. A great sigh of relief. We tipped the wooden cage, she crawled out and went into the frames. We waited a couple minutes and pulled the frame up to see if the girls still excepted her. They surrounded her and started to take care of her again.
Then, we went to hive 3, same scenario. Marked her, she went limp and in a couple minutes came back.
What happens here when the queen goes limp like that? Shock maybe? Fright? Playing possum?

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Offline Green bee

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2017, 02:05:42 am »
You ever heard of fainting goats before? I think you may have some fainting bees!! :o ;D ;D
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Offline Perry

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2017, 06:30:01 am »
I have actually heard of queens doing this very thing, fainting. :yes:
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Offline blueblood

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2017, 08:28:39 am »
After reading this, I remembered that wasps breath through their skin.  Well, honeybees breath through holes in their thorax.  It's my opinion that those air holes are fully or partially covered when the paint is applied.  She either adjust to less holes or somehow the holes with paint on them open up after she breaths through them?  Check out the 10th paragraph in the article below.

http://www.insectidentification.org/external-anatomy-of-honey-bees.asp

Also, I found this article from New Zealand that speaks about being careful about blocking the spiracles (breathing holes) when marking queens.

 https://books.google.com/books?id=HsD5y5Y71c8C&pg=PA127&lpg=PA127&dq=painting+honeybee+queen+can+block+breathing&source=bl&ots=Ix2Cfxw1Vp&sig=2Shgm32PzTt1olGahuxYje8wQ8E&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjSjI2W4djTAhVp6IMKHQ4_BiMQ6AEIQDAI#v=onepage&q=painting%20honeybee%20queen%20can%20block%20breathing&f=false
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Offline Jen

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2017, 11:53:53 am »
Wow blueblood! That is an amazing piece of info there! I like my queens marked as well because I can't stand for that long searching for the queen due to arthritis in my spine. And if you have a hive that is three deeps the queen can simply keep moving down as you take the deeps apart. Can be a long wait to find her. Actually I have done quite well with marked queens staying alive for the long haul. I'll be thinking on this... Maybe just make the marked dot a little smaller.

By the way, so glad to see you around again, miss you vids and sweet daughter too ;)
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Offline blueblood

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2017, 01:18:41 pm »
It was a surprise to me too! I didn't realize they breathed through their thorax either.

Thanks, I am trying to get back in the habit of hanging around better.  That sweet daughter is growing up fast! She is 14 now!  My oldest daughter is marrying this December and starting student teaching.  My second daughter just finished her second year in brain and behavioral science at Purdue.  The third daughter is finishing her Junior year in high school.  It goes so, so quick!

Offline Les

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2017, 01:59:58 pm »
Wow, the things we learn beekeeping!

Offline Jen

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2017, 02:59:28 pm »
No Kidding Les!

So what I want to know now is: Why do the commercial queen breeders, Dadant, Koenen Bees, Etc. mark and sell their queens? Knowing that that the thorax is where the queen breaths? I marked 7 hives last year with a pink dot, and all of them survived the rest of the summer and winter. Since this spring all of my pink queens have swarmed, I know that because the guy who picks up my swarms tells me every time that he now has another pink queen. To Funny.

Anyway, none of the queens I marked last year went limp.. so curious
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Offline Les

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2017, 05:09:34 pm »
Was it the same brand of paint?  Different color tham last year?

Offline Jen

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2017, 05:33:39 pm »
Hi Les, same brand different color. But I have used different colors before.. weird
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Offline Lburou

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2017, 07:32:38 pm »
The only other factor I know is whether or not the cage was in direct sun while waiting for the paint to dry...Queens can expire in two or three minutes in direct sunlight on a warm day.  :)
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Offline Jen

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2017, 09:11:18 pm »
Lee, Don't I Know That! Fried one of my queens last season. Devastating!

We were very careful to not expose her to the sun.
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Offline Lburou

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2017, 03:10:02 pm »
Lee, Don't I Know That! Fried one of my queens last season. Devastating!

We were very careful to not expose her to the sun.
:eusa_dance:
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Offline neillsayers

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2017, 07:42:08 pm »
Jen,

I believe the thoracic spiracles are located very close to the base of the wings. If the dot is centered on the top of the thorax, shouldn't cause a problem.
Neill Sayers
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Offline Jen

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2017, 09:39:02 pm »
I think I would like to have Tecumseh in on this... This is a queen bee biology question...

Can someone knock on his door for us? :)
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2017, 11:40:54 pm »
jen, you can send tec a pm.........

i have a few questions.......
how do you mark queens? do you mark them by hand (not using any queen marking tool), and if so how did you 'grasp' the queens? did you grasp her abdomen?
what paint/pen are you using? did you over mark them, paint running?
did the queen release a clear liquid?
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Offline Jen

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2017, 11:55:41 pm »
River, these are good questions. I'll get a drone tomorrow and show you how I hold her. I can get a dot on her quickly, I marked probably 10 queens last year without this happening. First tho, I catch her in a queen clip. I'm not comfortable grabbing her wings or holding her by her legs. Feels too fragile to me. I'll take a pic tomorrow with a drone.
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Offline Lburou

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2017, 11:57:42 pm »
The spiracles are located on the sides of the Thorax & abdomen.  The first thoracic spiracle is, like Neil said, near the root of the wing.


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Offline Jen

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2017, 12:41:48 am »
Lee, I couldn't get your image to enlarge, but here is another one. So I can see what Neil was saying. So! In both cases of the queen going limp is definitely was not because of the dot on the top of her thorax. I may have to evaluate how I hold her.



Seems this image won't enlarge either, however you can see the breathing holes down the sides of her thorax and abdomen.
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Offline Jen

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Re: Queen Went Limp, Seemed Dead, After Marking Her Thorax
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2017, 01:27:02 am »
I pm'd Tecumseh, hoping he will drop by and help us out  :)
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