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I have a fairly new foundationless hive that is hatching out it's first large batch of brood. they seem to be backfilling the spaces with nectar/honey and not expanding the frames to their full size or building new comb. Pretty sure I saw some larva in this weeks inspection so I don't think there is a queenless issue. I figured that if they are bringing in pollen and nectar then they would be wanting to build up more to fill the space and grow more brood.

I put some empty and mostly empty frames in between a few nicely built frames to hopefully encourage them. hopefully with brood.
 

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This colony population chart is based on data collected in Blacksburg, Va (Va Tech) by Webb. Many beekeepers set their expectations on the expansionary growth rate they observe in May. After the solstice, bees are hardwired to reduce their expansion, and the natural ecology of flowers reflects this co-evolution. One can over-ride this tendency with various interventions, but the fundamental growth imperative is behind you at this point.
 

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The initial cohorts of a swarm come in pulses. The queen has more egg laying capacity than the swarm has nurse bees to cover or resources (royal jelly) to feed. As that cohort hatches out, the initial nurse bees have "aged out" and not yet been replaced. The pulse gradually regularizes into a continuous flow. The first month of the hived swarm will have experienced a population decline (sometimes marked), and you are just beginning the climb back to the population level at the time of first hiving. The reproductive capacity of the nest is less now than on June 1. Inherent velocity of expansion is less on July 15 than on April 15, so the recovery from the initial dip is slower than for a spring nuc.
 

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I see, I'll just have to keep watching and seeing what they do. It just seems like they only did one decent brood cycle so it seemed a bit soon for shutting down. we'll see.
 

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Thanks for the great chart. It puts a a lot of information into a concise and understandable exhibit.I am in the midwest and if I had to guess I would place the peak on the chart more toward the middle of July pending a variety of climatic conditions. Currently given our rain and continued growth of vegetation the peak id definitely at least the first week or two in July.
 

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JW,
That graph does not look like what I see here. It almost looks like a composit of starter and established colonies. If it were a starter (swarm Apr to June) it wouldn't have brood increase in Feb. If it were an established, it should show the sharp decrease in brood volume with swarm prep backfilling.

Of course, the timing is dependent on where the data is acquired. VA is close to mine. (About the same distance from Alberta, Can.) I do not believe that the solstice is relevant. From what I see, colony judgements are made on field forage. Not necessarily what is out there, but what is coming in to the colony. We have all seen this in the last few radical seasons.

If the VTech report is available to me, please provide a link.
Walt
 

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The VaTech graph is off online presentation. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...=C2ZUUxvHtj2FyTh0yTC2nA&bvm=bv.70138588,d.cGU
Colony population trend data is surprisingly hard to come by. The fundamental paper is by Bodenheimer in 1937 http://www.jstor.org/stable/2808435 .


I have a similar chart for Davis, Ca done in the 1960's and one from Yorkshire, but cannot find my archive copies and bibliography doesn't cough up the reference. The Dave Cushman site has a demography graph virtually identical to the Blacksburg one (are they copies?) and interesting polar diagrams with the same data.

Mark Winston did demography for Africanized bees see: Demography and Life History Characteristics
of Two Honey Bee Races {Apis mellifera) http://www.jstor.org/stable/4216331 and http://www.jstor.org/stable/25084014 .

Fukuda, Heromi did demography in Japan with tabular data. Fukuda H, Sakagami SF (1983) The relationship between work efficiency and population size in a honeybee colony http://meme.biology.tohoku.ac.jp/popecol/RP PDF/25(2)/pp.249.pdf

Interesting papre I just snagged: COLONY DEVELOPMENT AND QUEEN REARING IN
KENYAN HONEY BEES (APIS MELLIFERA SCUTELLATA)
Shi Wei*
 
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