Remember I am south of the I-10 corridor and we don't have a solid winter.
It was 30 degrees last night and they are predicting temperatures in 50/60s as high and lows in 40s at night for about 10 days.
I have 3 hives with queens that are laying and curious if the pattern they are laying is normal patterns for bees coming out of winter. The overall size of the brood cluster is between the size of the bottom of a quart jar and the bottom of a gallon chlorox bottle. It is more or less centered in the middle of a medium frame. They are slowly expanding to other frames. Have between 3 and 6 frames with this pattern on them. So far it is a fairly solid pattern, very few if any skipped spots, one does have about a dozen drone cells on one frame in worker cells.
There are cut out feral bees. The hives were captured and I didn't get the queen. So one hive produced multiple cells and I transferred them to the other hives. During the period of mating flights they had few good days, most were overcast.
I am thinking they are just trying to expand and keeping the pattern small and in the center of the frame to conserve heat.
When do I start worrying about poor laying patterns? Should I base that on daily average temperatures hitting the low 60s? Is there some clue I should focus on to tell me these are poor queens and the colony will not build sufficiently to expand rapidly come spring?
Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 10 Lang hives + 14 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet