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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been a little over two months since I did my last OAV to clean up the mites. April is the time for me to see how the hives are doing after winter pollen sub will go on, if the weather is good it can go on in march. I would like to know when your spring starts for your bees.
 

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The bees normally start bringing in tons of pollen around the middle of February in my area. I wouldn't dream of providing any kind of artificial pollen substitute as the bees much prefer real pollen and its so plentiful. I always thought that artificial brood stimulation could actually be detrimental in some cases unless your building up bees for Almond pollination. I kinda scratch my head sometimes reading about people in cold weather climates waiting for a warm day in the middle of the winter so they can open up hives and try feeding them artificial feed and supplements. If you manage your colonies adequately in the fall you shouldn't have to worry about them, albeit an occasional hive.
 

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In Louisiana we push our bees thru the winter as if we are going to almonds because we need the brood for nuc production. Our first graft last year was Feb 21. Start pollen patties in December after Christmas.
 

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Spring really gets going in my area in mid to late March when the maples bloom but once the alders bloom in February, the bees will begin their spring buildup. My opinion is that feeding spring pollen patties in my area is not needed in most years due to the abundant pollen that is available. Excess early buildup pretty much guarantees swarming. If there is constant rain, I will add small amounts of patties to keep the buildup going and not let it stall out. Swarm season starts in early April and ends in mid May.
 

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Spring really gets going in my area in mid to late March when the maples bloom but once the alders bloom in February, the bees will begin their spring buildup. My opinion is that feeding spring pollen patties in my area is not needed in most years due to the abundant pollen that is available. Excess early buildup pretty much guarantees swarming. If there is constant rain, I will add small amounts of patties to keep the buildup going and not let it stall out. Swarm season starts in early April and ends in mid May.
Little north of you, somewhat similar climate.

We see blooms in hazelnuts in late January, and by mid February the bees will be brooding in earnest. We keep patties on from mid Feb thru till late March. Not trying to push them, but ensuring they dont run out of food when we get 10 days of non stop rain, note my use of 'when', not 'if', because it will happen once or twice every spring that we go upwards of a couple weeks with no flying weather. I dont want to be opening hives to add supplements during torrential rains, so we start on a nice day mid February. I'll check on them fairly regularly and any colony that is close to finishing a patty will get another one. I do not want the spring buildup to stall for lack of incoming food, when flows get going in late April I want colonies large enough to put on a super of honey over that flow, and give me a split as we go into the swarm season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Aww now February can be the coldest month for me and if I have a small cluster of bees that start brooding when we have a warm spell in March they can get stuck on brood when we have a cold spell in April. I have very little for the bees for almost six months. Getting them built up so I can make a few queens as early as possible is the challenge I'm taking on this year. Trying to have mated queens the first week of June last year I did grafting on June 16. Any guys in the north woods like me raising a few queens and when do you start?
 

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I think you have a typo in your dates.

I am a bit north of you on the other side of the lakes so maybe fairly close in timing. I set Snelgrove boards to start cells about the third week of June. I will have drones in the hives by then but not many flying yet. Having enough mature drones may be well be a limitation in whether you can get queens thoroughly mated any earlier.

Southern Ontario is at least three weeks earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think you have a typo in your dates.

Should of said they stopped brooding in October so no build up for 6 months and no new food coming in unless you give them something
 

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it is near fifty right now with a wind to match! I am not sure it hasn't started already. We had a cold/normal snap but now we have forty for ten days. Normally this would be my winter window to do my clean up OAV treatment but I did that around Thanksgiving when I was broodless. I will be popping lids to make sure my bees have not been too hungry and active. I may need to pile on the sugar bricks and cull queens in the spring for those too hungry. Normally I will put on pollen patties mid February to start serious brooding. My goal is boxes full of bees come early April for the fruit bloom and dandelions and splitting first week of May.
 

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I set Snelgrove boards to start my splits the last week in February or first week in March. Last year, it was February 17. Bees have been bringing in pollen all winter long. This is a picture of some pollen pants on Christmas Day.

Pollen Pants.jpg
 

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I think you have a typo in your dates.

Should of said they stopped brooding in October so no build up for 6 months and no new food coming in unless you give them something


Dan, these are the dates that confuse me. "Trying to have mated queens the first week of June last year I did grafting on June 16"
Some of you fellas sure get a jump on me in spring! Often 3rd week in May for dandelions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dan, these are the dates that confuse me. "Trying to have mated queens the first week of June last year I did grafting on June 16"
Some of you fellas sure get a jump on me in spring! Often 3rd week in May for dandelions.
ok this year have mated queens the first week of june , last year grafted on the 16 of june. got to jump start them with some pollen sub to get going a little sooner. last year we had a bad fall by the time i had queens we had no flow to speak of
 

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In Louisiana we push our bees thru the winter as if we are going to almonds because we need the brood for nuc production. Our first graft last year was Feb 21. Start pollen patties in December after Christmas.
I just started feeding pollen sub today and I have been feeding sugar water due to the poor fall flow last year. How do you know went to start your graphs? Is it because the pollen sub bees will start producing drones earlier than non-feed hives?
 
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