I live in Illinois, the weather is starting to warm up 55-60 degrees. I gave my hive a pollen patty and fed 1-1 syrup starting middle February. I looked at my hive today and found small brood pattern about the size of a dollar bill. Uncapped stage, small white healthy c shape brood. I found this on only one frame, on one side. I went through both hive bodies. I had a softball size cluster though Winter. Last Summer the hive replaced the queen in July. This hive was started last April. I did not get a real good chance to judge the queen last fall. She seemed to be ok, not great, but ok.
Should the queen have started up more? Is this small brood pattern noraml for beginning brood,or do I need a new queen?
If it were me I would be replacing the queen if I had any doubts about her only being fair in the fall and it sounds like she isdoing poorly now.
just South of Lansing Michigan
>This hive was started last April. I did not get a real good chance to judge the queen last fall. She seemed to be ok, not great, but ok. Should the queen have started up more? Is this small brood pattern noraml for beginning brood,or do I need a new queen?
A hive started last April should have been a booming hive going into winter. Other than that, dropping down to a small cluster is sometimes a breed thing. Starting late in the spring is also a breed thing. They may really take off. But back to the "softball sized cluster all winter". I might have expected them to drop back to one, but there should have been a lot more going into winter. Were there?
If you are in a doubt about a queen, I agree with Clinton.
If they wintered over with a softball sized cluster, could it be that there aren't enough bees to rais more than a few brood at a time?
A similar thing happened to one of my hives. The brood pattern was about 2 inches in diameter and a few frames of bees. Through the wonderful advice of this forum, it was suggested that I give them a frame of capped brood and switch locations with my strong hive. Three weeks later both hives are doing very well! Thanks Guys (BjornBee and MB)!! The weak hive's queen has completely laid up two deeps! I'm glad I didn't get rid of her. Can't say that the same thing would help you, but there's an issue of "critical mass" that dominates the hive's ability to care for brood. This could be your problem too.
I Set hive up in April with a package of carniolan bees. June hive blew over in a storm.
Middle of June saw two supersedure cells on top hive bars. July had eggs and their new queen,also twelve swarm cells on bottom of frames. She swarmed and took half the hive with her. They raised a new queen, the current queen. Her Fall brood pattern was eight inch oval. Not as good as the other two queens. Now I am concerned she may doom the hive. This hive gives my friends a good laugh. So far we are all learning the hard way off my hive. We all ordered together, so we are able to compare other hives.
Mine always is the most interesting because of all the problems. I am the first to open hive in our small group, and of course I think I have another problem. .
Current situation, still have about a softball amount of bees.
Acutally sounds like they did well considering blowing over in a storm and swarming. They wouldn't have swarmed if they weren't doing well.
Maybe you want to just let them get going. Of if you have another hive, give this one a boost with some emerging brood and/or switching locations.