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Discussion Starter #1
I have a hive that's about three years old. I just checked the hive, and found no larva, eggs, or capped brood cells. Didn't see the queen, either.
I was hoping the queen would make it through winter, but I'm afraid she may have already died.
The good news is that I still have lots of bees in that hive, and lots of capped honey, as well as some nectar cells. The bees seem calm. There are four supers on that hive; the bottom one was the brood box, but those frames are mostly empty now. The bees have put a couple spots of honey in a couple of the frames, but all the others are empty brood cells. I didn't see any emergency queen cells anywhere, nor did I notice any drones.
Is this a normal situation for going into winter? Here in Oklahoma, we're having night temps in the 30s-40s, and day temps in the high 80s, though we've had a few colder spells lately.
I don't know if I should just leave the bees alone, or combine them with another hive.
I do have two new hives I started in mid-summer this year. All of my hives are eight-frame mediums. One of the new hives has pretty much filled one super (eggs/larva and honey), and the other one is doing a bit better, so I added another super, which they are busily filling.
I am feeding both of the new hives sugar water in an attempt to help them get some stored for winter.
There's not much pollen in any of the hives.
Anyone have thoughts about the situation or advise?
 

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It actually sounds like your queen has just shut down for the winter at this point. If the bees are calm when you checked in on them, and you didn't hear the normal loud queenless hum, nor see the bees with their butts in the air fanning then the probability is good that your queen is fine. Once a queen goes through a couple seasons, she tends to get used to the seasons and adjusts.

The mid summer hives haven't gone through a full season and are busy trying to get the numbers they need for winter. Once the pollen runs out, they will stop rearing brood as well.
 

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I have queens that have already shut down too. A bit early maybe.
same here. pulled a super of honey off of one this weekend and the broodnest was already backfilled for winter preps.

quill, the new hives are probably still brooding because you are feeding them and the other one most likely stopped brooding as a normal response to the change in season.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all so much! This makes me feel better. Will check them again in a few days to make sure numbers look ok. I know they do stop producing brood during winter, but thought there would be SOME new eggs still being produced, even through winter.
I do plan to re-queen that hive, but want to wait til spring.
 
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