Monday, May 27, 2013

Homemade Queen Marking Cage

Have you ever thought about marking your queens? Maybe you were afraid you would hurt her. Or maybe you just didn't know how to go about it. Well I took a few minutes and created a Homemade queen marking cage. These tools can be purchased through most bee equipment suppliers. But I have always been one to make stuff if materials are not hard to come by. And if I can save a few bucks along the way then that's just a bonus.

So to make your own queen marking cage you will need a few things to get started.

1. A empty subscription pill bottle. ( Because they are transparent)
2. 7/16" Dowel rod 4 1/2" long
3. Piece of sponge material (Enough to cover plunger)
4. A hole saw the same diameter as pill bottle. ( Mine is 2")
5. Netting material to cover end.
6. Small piece of 3/4" lumber (For plunger)
7. (2) Rubberbands

We will start by using a hole saw to remove the bottom of the pill bottle. Measure across the bottom of bottle to see what size is needed. Now use the appropriate hole saw and remove bottom. Now we can move to the next step which is using the same size hole saw to cut out the plunger. I recommend 3/4" stock for the plunger. This will keep it from wobbling around. After plunger is cut check it with the bottle for fit. See if sanding is needed to get correct fit. Once plunger slides smoothly in pill bottle drill out center of plunger for 7/16" dowel rod and install with wood glue. Followed with the sponge glued on the end of plunger then cut to fit.

Now lets go back to the bottle and install the screen netting cover. This netting has larger holes than standard window screen. Which allows easy marking of the queen. I pulled the material tight over the end of bottle we removed. Then using rubber bands to secure it in place. I covered the rubber bands with a old 2" drum sander paper. This is unnecessary I just was not crazy about seeing the rubber bands.

To finish up the project I drilled a 7/16" hole in the center of the bottle lid for dowel rod. This helps keep plunger inside bottle when storing. Now you are ready to mark your queens. Just be gentle remember mated queens are pregnant women. When marking her do not push plunger to hard just enough to keep her in place. Then after marking the queen slide plunger back an inch so she can move but do not re-install her for a couple minutes until paint dries. House bees will remove paint if it's not dry.

She is so much easier to find

Queen Marking Cage Video

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