Queen Marking Colours

Set of Queen Bee Marking Pens

Set of Queen Bee Marking Pens

Queens tend to progressively lose productivity in egg laying after a couple of years (Note: there tends to be wide variation in productivity between different queens). To assist beekeepers in “remembering” the age of a queen in each colony, a system of Queen marking colours has been  adopted.

The Queen is marked with a spot of paint on her thorax (the black glossy area behind the eyes) using a marking pen with the current year colour. The colours for 2014-2018 are shown below:-

2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Green Blue White Yellow Red


These mnemonics may help you

to work out the correct colour.

Be Warned You Require Gloves
Blue White Yellow Red Green
0 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9


Will You Rear Good Bees
White Yellow Red Green Blue
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 0


  1. Richard Ramsden says:

    The mid blue pen supplied by some bee equipment suppliers is not so easy to see as the Sky Blue option which can be purchased online for less cost with free postage.

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