220.127.116.11. Hive and colony identification
Multiple types of hive/colony identification are recommended. It is recommended to use an identification number on the bottom board that combines the colony number, hive position in the apiary and number of the queen. Hive identification is complex and can cause problems if the test is long lasting. Clearly identified colonies are the basis for successful test processing. Identification of the queen is not reliable, since queen tags can be removed and an unmarked queen is not easily recognized. Queen identification is, however, useful as an additional ID system.
Frequently used hive identifications:
- An accompanying card under the roof of the hive is good but harsh weather conditions can damage it. Furthermore, during regular work with colonies, cards can be mixed up between neighbour hives.
- Marks on the roof of the hive are good, but roofs are easily switched between hives during regular work.
- Marks regarding hive position within apiary (number on the stand) are a reliable system of identification in the test.
- The best position for hive identification is on the hive bottom board. Usually these hive parts are constant and they need to be changed only in case of damage or for cleaning purposes. Therefore it is recommended to have clean and disinfected bottom boards at the beginning of an experiment.