Color Markings of the Queen Bee

Some beekeepers mark their bees on the back of her thorax to indicate what year the queen was born. Since queens usually don’t live more than five years, the color system is set up with five colors which correspond to the last digit of the year in which she was born.

There is an easy acronym to help you remember the color coding system: Will You Raise Good Bees?

If the last digit of the year is:

  • 1 or 6, then the color is White
  • 2 or 7, then the color is Yellow
  • 3 or 8, then the color is Red
  • 4 or 9, then the color is Green
  • 5 or 0, then the color is Blue


Queen Bee Color Marking


Image credit: “Big Queen Bee Drawing” under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0