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Is it temperature or day length? And or what else? It was 54 in northern Illinois today and it looks like I have pretty large hive populations. It's a long time til spring, I hope they aren't going to start building up.
 

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its usually the 1st pollen flow...(or supplement)
but the pollen flow is of course triggered by temp and daylight triggers, so they are intermixed
there has been work done keeeping the hive in climate controal showing temp followed by photo period has a trigger effect, and there also seem to be an internal clock that they will start regardless

In answer to the first question listed for this experiment, the amounts of brood
area (square inches) measured on three dates are summarized in table 1.
Visual observations January 8, five days after feeding drivert sugar with 1% pollen, indicated that the control treatment colonies had not broken their bee clusters.
Bees in all treatments which had received the drivert sugar with 1% pollen had broken their clusters and were actively moving within the colonies.
Observations of brood stages in all treatments indicated that the queen bees of the control colonies started laying eggs January 11, the day natural pollen became available in the area.
The queens in all other treatments started laying eggs January 3, the day they received the
drivert sugar with 1% pollen.
 
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pollen sub in my apiary. I usually put it out on the solstice but this year I waited til I could treat for varroa, got one treatment in, put out pollen sub and they are a cloud hitting the pollen sub, so I think that was it for me. Elm and oak will bloom soon
 

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I often hear, Maples and Willows bloom too early for bees to benefit because it cold for them to fly.
My bees have been flying and orienting heavily the last two days as the temps have been in the seventies.
I wonder if, after these triggers, will the bees slow brooding when the inevitable cold returns?
The next warm spell we have, I think I will inspect for brood and stores so some don't starve.
It's a long time before April.

Alex
 

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I wonder if, after these triggers, will the bees slow brooding when the inevitable cold returns?
most of the time
even a few days of spring rain can set back brood production and start them canbulizing the youngest larva.. this is one of the main effect of pollen sub, it keep them going
 

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I've always heard they won't brood till the first natural pollen flow, sub won't start it. I think they store away any you give them in the WInter, patties just keep them from regressing on rainy days, also it takes more than one pollen source to reach the 12 amino acids needed to produce worker /drone/royal jelly.
 

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I've always heard they won't brood till the first natural pollen flow, sub won't start it. I think they store away any you give them in the WInter, patties just keep them from regressing on rainy days, also it takes more than one pollen source to reach the 12 amino acids needed to produce worker /drone/royal jelly.
Randy Oliver did a nice comparison study of several pollen subs a few years back. The result was bees will brood up on just pollen sub, but not all pollen subs are equal. If I can find it, I will post a link.
Edit: here is the link.
You can find a lot more at scientificbeekeeping.com, but that is a good start.
 

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Randy Oliver did a nice comparison study of several pollen subs a few years back. The result was bees will brood up on just pollen sub, but not all pollen subs are equal. If I can find it, I will post a link.
Edit: here is the link.
You can find a lot more at scientificbeekeeping.com, but that is a good start.
yeah, but that's in the Fall. I mean open feeding dry pollen sub, I wouldn't open a hive to put patties on till after the natural pollen flow, just in case they get cooped up and run out, they won't cannabilize the brood.
 

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This topic shows the reason why beekeepers often say; "All Beekeeping is local" :)

Bees store food (honey and pollen) for one reason. That reason being, so that soon after the winter solstice the queen can begin laying without bees venturing out to find resources that are not yet available. I have no doubt that despite below freezing temps and 2' of snow, my bees have already begun laying up small patches of brood. We won't see natural pollen from Maples or Willows until late March, early April. Although, if it warms up enough for bees to fly, we will also open feed dry pollen sub, but only in the Spring, never in the Fall.

'Different strokes for different 'locals'

We should expect that In the North it's a slow start, and in the South one can assume it'll be faster, likely by the time natural pollen presents.....any day now for some folks :cool:.

In other words, if the bees (and beekeepers) prepared their hives with ample stores of honey and pollen in the Fall, they 'should' be OK, regardless of where they are living.

This isn't meant as a slam, but as much as I enjoy Randy Olivers well researched offerings, he and his bees live in California, where keeping bees is considerably different than Northern Wisconsin.
 

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yeah, but that's in the Fall. I mean open feeding dry pollen sub, I wouldn't open a hive to put patties on till after the natural pollen flow, just in case they get cooped up and run out, they won't cannabilize the brood.
That was in California, so I don't know what "fall" means, in context.
If I recall correctly, it was package bees on foundation, with syrup and pollen sub. In that circumstance they made brood. No natural pollen available. I suppose the bees were Italians. So they pretty much brood continuously...
 

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This topic shows the reason why beekeepers often say; "All Beekeeping is local" :)

Bees store food (honey and pollen) for one reason. That reason being, so that soon after the winter solstice the queen can begin laying without bees venturing out to find resources that are not yet available. I have no doubt that despite below freezing temps and 2' of snow, my bees have already begun laying up small patches of brood. We won't see natural pollen from Maples or Willows until late March, early April. Although, if it warms up enough for bees to fly, we will also open feed dry pollen sub, but only in the Spring, never in the Fall.

'Different strokes for different 'locals'

We should expect that In the North it's a slow start, and in the South one can assume it'll be faster, likely by the time natural pollen presents.....any day now for some folks :cool:.

In other words, if the bees (and beekeepers) prepared their hives with ample stores of honey and pollen in the Fall, they 'should' be OK, regardless of where they are living.

This isn't meant as a slam, but as much as I enjoy Randy Olivers well researched offerings, he and his bees live in California, where keeping bees is considerably different than Northern Wisconsin.
AGREED. The point was only addressing the idea that bees won't start brooding without natural pollen.

No need to feed pollen in SE Wisconsin.
 

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I often hear, Maples and Willows bloom too early for bees to benefit because it cold for them to fly.


Alex
This hasn't been my experience as it relates to making Maple Syrup. I've hauled sap on some warm days in Northern Michigan before the trees weren't even in bloom yet. I think the general statement tends to come from people observing Silver Maples which tend to go earlier (I've seen them as early as late February/early March). Reds to me are pretty normal and outside of bad luck bees and syrup makers should be able to work them. Sugars are late enough that it would take really bad luck for the bees not to work them.

edit for typo
 

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I often hear, Maples and Willows bloom too early for bees to benefit because it cold for them to fly.
As is typical at my location.
Maple/Willow bloom is typically a non-factor.
It is either too cold or too rainy to fly.
Or the weather just knocks off all the bloom - as it happened last year.

They only reliable source around here is dandelion - only then we have predictably flyable weather.
 
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