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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here in Southeastern PA, the temps are getting up into the mid 60's on warm days and back down into the upper 30's during the evening. We may yet get a cold snap and the last official frost date is usually around 1st week of May, but... the bees are bringing in pollen and the queen is trotting around on the frames.

What I don't know is how large of a brood nest to expect this time of year. The one is my hive is maybe the size of a baseball or softball and that's it from what I can tell. I've put frames of stores and empty comb around the brood nest to encourage the process, but so far they're not expanding much. Lots of stores still left in the hive and I put on a pollen sub patty. The major nectar flow around here starts around mid May and goes through June. By end June it's over so any field force they'll need to capitalize on this will need to be up and running by then. They're out and working by when- 3-4 weeks of age?
 

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To be honest the size of the brood nest this time of year will depend on what type of bees they are, how well they overwintered, and the cluster size when they went into winter. It does sound as though your cluster is pretty small. I was in 38 hives two weeks ago and most of them were covering five or six frames.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The cluster is larger than that- it's just that the brood nest where the eggs and larvae are covers 1-2 frames and is around the size of a baseball. I think there are a good number of bees in the hive- there's lots of activity at the entrance on these warm sunny days.
 
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