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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If pollen starts going into the hive, will the queen start laying immediately, or is there a significant gap? A little pollen here last week and quite a lot today. I am wondering when I can expect new bees to start bulking up the hive population.
 

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I think it's not only pollen, it's a temperature. How much brood area can bees have at required temperature.
Also I think there is some variable on bees heritage, some bees start brooding more aggressive vs. another. Carniolians start very aggressive brooding, russians not so much.
 

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Your queen has probably been laying for a while.

We had a warm day last week, and I opened one hive to check on stores remaining. (50F in SE Wisconsin)

I saw the queen, and sealed brood, and enough food, so I closed the hive back up.

It has been cold, and while I saw a few bees that day bringing back pollen, most of the bees appeared to be taking "play" or orientating flights.

So it looks like there are new bees hatched already.

It probably also depends on what sort of bees you have, to some extent.
 

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Your queen has been laying since January. They build up during the winter to have enough bees to take advantage of the Spring pollen and nectar which is mostly finished by the start of Summer.

If you want to see a graph of their yearly cycle go to scientificbeekeeping.com. Randy Oliver has a graph that shows not only the bees build up but the varroas build up superimposed.
 

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What Jim said.
They use pollen stored in the hive and are raising brood before pollen starts coming in in the spring.
 

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Your queen has probably been laying for a while.

We had a warm day last week, and I opened one hive to check on stores remaining. (50F in SE Wisconsin)

I saw the queen, and sealed brood, and enough food, so I closed the hive back up.

It has been cold, and while I saw a few bees that day bringing back pollen, most of the bees appeared to be taking "play" or orientating flights.

So it looks like there are new bees hatched already.

It probably also depends on what sort of bees you have, to some extent.
You mention your location here but it's helpful to everyone if you put it in your profile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You mention your location here but it's helpful to everyone if you put it in your profile.

Thanks everyone for the useful responses. I have been leaving the internals of the hives alone except for checking to see if there is plenty of feed on top. It's still fairly cool, 40s and lower 50s at best. The hives went into winter with very little food, honey or pollen, due to the very cool and rainy fall we had here, so I have been assuming very little early brood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No idea what breed these bees are, they are from a swarm last May, then split so crossed with whatever drones are around.
 

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AR1,

If you split your swarm that you got in May you probably had a small couple of colonies, say 2 or 3 frames each? You did well to leave the boxes alone during the winter weather. I'm in mid Missouri and today was the first time we got above 60 F and it's slated for 70 F tomorrow. I have done the same as you and tomorrow will be the first time that I actually break the double deeps apart and see what the strength of my hives is. We may have had more rain than you since we are closer to Southern Illinois and I seem to remember that you guys/gals got less. I'll be happy if it dries out here some soon.

It really doesn't matter all that much about the linage of the bees. What I've been reading lately says we only have a limited gene pool here in the US because of the restrictions on importing bees. What's important to me is the temperament of the bees. It seem like all of the swarms I've collected have been pretty aggressive.

Good luck to you this year. Remember, treat, treat, treat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
AR1,

If you split your swarm that you got in May you probably had a small couple of colonies, say 2 or 3 frames each? You did well to leave the boxes alone during the winter weather. I'm in mid Missouri and today was the first time we got above 60 F and it's slated for 70 F tomorrow. I have done the same as you and tomorrow will be the first time that I actually break the double deeps apart and see what the strength of my hives is. We may have had more rain than you since we are closer to Southern Illinois and I seem to remember that you guys/gals got less. I'll be happy if it dries out here some soon.

It really doesn't matter all that much about the linage of the bees. What I've been reading lately says we only have a limited gene pool here in the US because of the restrictions on importing bees. What's important to me is the temperament of the bees. It seem like all of the swarms I've collected have been pretty aggressive.

Good luck to you this year. Remember, treat, treat, treat.
You pretty much pegged it. One May swarm, split to 5 hives. 3 did pretty well, one had to be late requeened and never bloomed, but is still just hanging on. One starved. So 4 surviving of 5. 3 look reasonably strong, considering all.
Plenty of rain here, ground is saturated.
 
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