Copyright © SABA 2007 - All rights reserved
Open the hive
and find the

Pull the frame
with the queen
out of the hive
Come up behind
the queen and
catch her by the
Take a small stick that
is flat on the end
(like a wooden match
stick) and dip it in
model paint or
fingernail polish
and put a spot on the
queens thorax
Being careful not to
get paint on
her eyes and wings
Hold the queen for a
little while until the
paint dries.  
If you release her
too soon into the
hive the bees will
not recognize her
Wait for the bees to
accept her
Then slip the frame
back into the hive

All done!  Queen
Click on photo
for a larger
Queen Marking with Tom Elliott
Any color of paint can be used for marking your queens.  

Commercial beekeepers use a color code for each year:

Years Ending in:

1 or 6 - White
2 or 7 - Yellow
3 or 8 - Red
4 or 9 - Green
5 or 0 - Blue
What!          1 or 6 - White
You             2 or 7 - Yellow
Raise          3 or 8 - Red
Green         4 or 9 - Green
Bees?!        5 or 0 - Blue       x
Southcentral Alaska Beekeepers Association