Erin MacGregor-Forbes of Overland Apiaries Demonstrates Marking a Queen Bee at a Nuc Making Workshop of the Cumberland County Beekeepers Association.
It is common practice to mark the queen with a small spot of paint on her back (thorax). A color code exists within the beekeeping industry to indicate the year the queen was introduced.
International Queen Marking Color Code: Color: For Year Ending In: White (or gray) 1 or 6 Yellow 2 or 7 Red 3 or 8 Green 4 or 9 Blue 5 or 0
Model car paint may be used to mark the queen. The identifying mark should be small, so that it does not cover any other part of the queen. A 1/16″ stick, lightly dipped in paint, is a good applicator. Generally, queens are marked before being introduced, but they can; however, be marked at any time. Paint should be given ample time to dry before the queen is released into the colony. In fact, queens may be purchased already marked by the queen producer.