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Thread: Laying pattern

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    543

    Default Laying pattern

    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 @ 7 Lang hives + 3 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,223

    Default Re: Laying pattern

    Sounds like they are a bit on the small side but not terribly unusual given the season this year. I would expect them to begin to expand pretty quickly as the weather warms. The queen isn't going to lay anything beyond what the hive can feed and protect on a cold night.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: Laying pattern

    Generally, the bees will only lay as much brood as they can handle... Either through feeding or warmth. Are all the frames in the hive covered, or are they clustered around the brood that you've seen?

    If the pattern is a small solid pattern, I'm not sure that I'd be too concerned about it. If it's small and full of shotgun like holes. I might look at little closer.
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    543

    Default Re: Laying pattern

    thanks for the thoughts. They have between 4 to 6 frames of bees in them and they are clearly building in numbers. I will wait till things get warmer before I start to worry about laying pattern. But it is a solid pattern so maybe they did something right despite my help. Still have plenty of honey left, but they are using way more now that we are bumping 60s degrees for a few days and back to 30s. Some pollen coming in and they are eating pollen patties, just waiting for the spring flowers to start blooming and let them take off I hope.

    Thanks again guys, I do appreciate the guidance.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 7 Lang hives + 3 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

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