Around the world apiculturists (beekeepers) employ a series of colour codes to identify queen bees and indicate their age. One method is to apply a dot of harmless quick-drying paint to the thorax of the bee so that it stands out within the hive’s population.
Another, more recent, method is to use plastic/aluminium disks, readily available in queen marking kits, attached using a special non-toxic glue. The disks are either blank – solid colour only – or numbered. These 2-digit numbers are used for stock control where there are many new queens being reared.
Here’s a quick and handy guide to identifying your queen:
International Queen Marking Color Code
|Colour||Last digit of year||Example|
|White||1 or 6||2011|
|Yellow||2 or 7||2012|
|Red||3 or 8||2013|
|Green||4 or 9||2014|
|Blue||5 or 0||2015|