Universal Annual Queen Bee Colors

The health and productivity of a Beehive is dependent on the health and vitality of the queen bee. We inspect our hives regularly to ensure that our queens are healthy and our hives are doing well.

We must find our queen bee within each our hives however, It can be very difficult to find a queen bee moving around in a colony of 30,000 other moving honey bees. Even though the queen is larger in size, she is very difficult to find. 

For hundreds of years beekeepers have been using safe methods to mark queen bees so that they stand out in a crowd. As honey bee health is directly related to the age of their queen, the international queen color code was developed to add an additional feature to help beekeepers.

By marking new born queens with a specific color to each calendar year, beekeepers wherever they are in the world can identify the age of the queen bee by the color of her mark.

 As queen bees very rarely live more than 3-4 years, 5 colors are all that is needed.

Year ending in Color
1 or 6 White
2 or 7 Yellow
3 or 8  Red
4 or 9 Green
5 or 0 Blue


 A useful mnemonic that beekeepers use to remember the colors system is: “Will You Raise Good Bees”

As a tribute to this color system, we offer annual t-shirts in the corresponding color of this current year’s queens.