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Thread: Swarming

  1. #31
    Senior Member EmsE's Avatar
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    After last July, I decided to clip my queens. so long as you don't clip too far down then the queen should not feel any pain so I've no qualms about clipping on that basis.

    Yes, if I miss the swarm I'm most likely to lose the queen but keep my bees. If they go off as a swarm there's no guarantee about their safety- potentially a few thousand bees getting BBQ'd in a chimney if they do find a nice home then they've not much chance against varroa unless times really are changing on that front.

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmsE View Post
    After last July, I decided to clip my queens. so long as you don't clip too far down then the queen should not feel any pain so I've no qualms about clipping on that basis.
    I’m not averse to clipping a queen but have not carried out the process before. How far down the wing would people recommend? would you clip one wing or both?

  3. #33
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    I clip somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of one wing.
    It doesn't seem to do them any harm.
    I have several queens which I clipped a couple of years ago still going strong.
    I think a queen is more likely to get balled after she is marked as the bees can on occasion take umbrage at the smell of the marker.
    If in doubt, mark and clip in spring after the queen has overwintered as she is less likely to be rejected, so they say anyway.
    Not many complain that marking is cruel.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julian View Post
    I’m not averse to clipping a queen but have not carried out the process before. How far down the wing would people recommend? would you clip one wing or both?
    I was always told clip one wing only. If you clip both at about the same point she'll be handicapped but might still be able to fly, if you only clip one wing she won't be able to fly (in a straight line)

  5. #35
    Senior Member EmsE's Avatar
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    I think I probably ended up clipping both as she had her wings folded. However, if done at an angle then it should be as effective as just clipping the 1

    Sent from my BlackBerry 8520 using Tapatalk

  6. #36
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    Occasionally I've clipped just a small part of a wing and then you cannot be sure that she's clipped when you look later. To an extent the type of cut depends on how much the girl wriggles. I usually cut diagonally across both wings now and that seems to work. I've never had a problem with balling after cutting. Fast-moving queens are more likely to be chased than a slow moving one but that's all I've seen.
    For paint I use the posca pens and they seem to work fine. I don't wait for it to dry before putting the queen back. They can also be used to mark a frame instead of trying to find a drawing pin in a hurry.

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