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Ratio of brood to honey

1922 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  RayMarler
The girls are definitely enjoying the nectar flow. Installed their package two weeks ago and opened hive to check em out. Queen has probably been free for a week & half as a raw guess.

Lots of comb, they are even capping honey already. Some larvae though I didn't notice capped brood. I presume initially it takes the queen some time to catch up to gatherers, but for eyeballing, when should brood be catching up with stored honey in volume? She does need to be replacing the natural attrition for hive after all
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The ratio of honey to bees varies throught the season as the goals of the bees change. It's difficult to say that it should be some ratio. When they are trying to raise enough workers to handle the load they burn up a lot of it and when they finally have enough workers, they start stocking it away.
I imagine the ratio of different aged bees in the hive might also affect the ratio of honey to bees in the hive, along with nectar flow strength and weather etc.

A package of bees typically will have a higher ratio of field force aged bees compared to the numbers of nurse bees, this is inherent in the way packages are made up. If needed, the worker aged bees will regress in duties to perform other duties such as nurse bees so the queen can get started. The brood cycle of a worker egg is 21 days, so every three weeks from the beginning of laying there will now be a fresh increasing supply of newly emerged nurse bees and house bees. The queen will be laying more and more as the weather warms and more nurse bees emerge, so there will be more new bees emerging each day than there are worker bees passing away in the fields. The package will grow seemingly slowly at first but as time goes on it will grow faster and faster, and soon it will seemingly explode in numbers.

At a point in the near future you should see a much greater percentage of nurse bees and brood to worker bees, and at that point, you might see the bees use every bit of nectar coming in to raise more brood. Then they will start getting more field force bees coming online and you'll start seeing more nectar stored, as the brood nest comes up to desired size and more bees age into worker bees.
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