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Okay- here is the scenario- 2 hives going through their first winter. Last Monday was the first day I have seen any pollen coming into the hives.

Hive number 1: Strong hive going into winter. Last Saturday, 2 days before pollen started coming in, I did an inspection and found tons of bees. So many that I am worried about them swarming this spring. While doing the inspection I found two frames in the upper deep with eggs and 3 or 4 frames still full of honey. In the bottom deep I found lots of pollen that I assume was left over from last year.

I provided sugar syrup with fumigillin but no pollen patty so as not to stimulate too much more brood production too early and cause swarming.

Yesterday I inspected again. They hardly touched the sugar syrup. I was expecting to find larvae but saw the same frames still with eggs. If the eggs were not viable would the bees not clean out the cells and get rid of them? Will the bees use the old pollen left from last year?

Hive number 2: Week hive goin into winter. Last Saturday I ran out of time and did not inspect this hive. But I did add sugar syrup with fumigillin and a pollen patty to stimulate brood production in this week hive.

In yesterdays inspection I found that the bees hardly touched the sugar syrup but consumed the entire pollen patty. I found 3 or 4 frames full of honey and one frame with a bunch of capped brood but no other eggs or larvae.

So, In hive number two shouldn't I expect to see eggs and larvae along with the capped brood? I think the only way they could have capped brood is to have used pollen left over from last year since they had no pollen source this year until a week ago. Is it possible that the eggs in hive #1 and the capped brood from hive #2 are both left from last year and didn't make it through the winter? But then wouldn't the bees clean them out?

I am just having a hard time making sense of these discrepenscies. Thanks
 

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Alot of variables. Start with hive #1. Sometimes the bees are slow to take up syrup with fumigillin if the bees were not started with plain syrup prior to the fumigillin or maybe the bees are using a natural nectar source. What are temps? I would expect a hive with many bees to have at least a small area of eggs and brood of all ages. Bees will use pollen stored in frames from previous season to start brood rearing early in spring. Queens will sometimes start laying in the upper (sunny side) of the hive and your initial inspection may have chilled eggs & driven bees to center to restart brood cluster. Is lower hive pollen plugged? Queen needs room to lay. It is early to be concerned with swarming but a pollen/nectar plugged hive will contribute to an eary swarm. Add empty combs or foundation if plugged. A cold spell combined with initial queen laying can cause an erratic brood pattern.

Hive #2 could have some of the same issues but really needed the patty to get started. All said. I think I would give the bees more time. With pollen coming in the bees will soon be going strong. The bees will clean old eggs and brood as they need more space. Good luck!
 
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