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What triggers brooding post winter solstice?

4908 Views 94 Replies 30 Participants Last post by  wcarpenter
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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Temperature? - Yes, of course. But where? - Where the queen is. Let´s call it the center of the bee cluster. People allege that it were on the 4th frame. Temperature and it´s first derivative.
Four requirement for the queen to lay eggs:
  1. Energy from sugars
  2. Proteins from pollen
  3. Water
  4. Temperature where the new brood is or is going to be, not where the queen is. It means enough nurse bees to cover the area.

If one is missing, no new brood.
 

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Four requirement for the queen to lay eggs:
  1. Energy from sugars
  2. Proteins from pollen
  3. Water
  4. Temperature where the new brood is or is going to be, not where the queen is. It means enough nurse bees to cover the area.

If one is missing, no new brood.
Disagree
I have all that now, but not yet brooding.
Now some "imported" bees will try to brood, get locked on brood and starve.

But my local bees are not going by your 1,2,3,4
you can add moon phase, length of day, and local adaptation, those we do not know..
adaptation--the bees in Fla have brood now, the bees in Canada , likely not, same length of day, same moon phase.
all have food and water.

GG
 

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Disagree
I have all that now, but not yet brooding.
Now some "imported" bees will try to brood, get locked on brood and starve.

But my local bees are not going by your 1,2,3,4
you can add moon phase, length of day, and local adaptation, those we do not know..
adaptation--the bees in Fla have brood now, the bees in Canada , likely not, same length of day, same moon phase.
all have food and water.

GG
I did not say that with those four points the bees are forced to lay eggs. I said that those are requirements.

To call Uber taxi you need an app, but if you have the app you do not need to order Uber taxi.
 

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right
but I think there are more.
sure yours are correct, just incomplete :)

not trying to get into a argument

and what's an Uber? do they hold bees?

GG
Uber is a competition to old time Taxi system in big cities around the world. Lyft, another one, is mostly in the US
Maybe if Uber driver is a beekeeper or agreed for a client with a bee package...
 

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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
In Southeast Wisconsin the bees are able to work the nectar and pollen from the maple trees. In fact if the weather is right you will get some maple honey though it is pretty rare for it to be enough so that it ends up in the supers. It is the Blandest honey that you can imagine, sort of like maple syrup but not as strongly flavored.
I had some that the bees put up in the feeding shim last spring and I thought it would be quite a treat but it was rather disappointing. Just a couple of pieces of burr comb full of honey and they capped it even.
 

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I am currently participating in a Winter Brood Monitoring study sponsored by Auburn University Bee Lab. It has been a very interesting experience. Even though I am in a warm climate, I don't do almond pollination and typically do not get into my hives from November to early February. This study required me to set aside 10 colonies and take them apart - frame by frame - every two weeks throughout these months. You can see the results at Winter Capped Brood Monitoring in Honey Bee Colonies. The study is ongoing with the final inspections tentatively set for February 22.

I will likely post a thread on it when it has concluded, but thought it might be interesting in this thread to look at the brood levels of the participants. The participants are heavy in the Southeast, but bee labs at Oregon State and Ohio State are both participating as well as many of the USDA ARS labs, including Beltsville, MD. My hives are represented on the interactive map by the southernmost blue dot in Alabama.

While I have no magic answer to the base question posed by the OP, my observations lead me to believe that brood-rearing is triggered by fresh pollen intake. Below is a very rough graph of my current data regarding capped brood % in my hives. This will look strange to most beekeepers in the US. You must remember my climate. But the graph would not indicate that increased daylight played a role in increased brood rearing. However, this is 10 hives, one beekeeper and purely anecdotal. Your mileage may vary.

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I am currently participating in a Winter Brood Monitoring study sponsored by Auburn University Bee Lab. It has been a very interesting experience. Even though I am in a warm climate, I don't do almond pollination and typically do not get into my hives from November to early February. This study required me to set aside 10 colonies and take them apart - frame by frame - every two weeks throughout these months. You can see the results at Winter Capped Brood Monitoring in Honey Bee Colonies. The study is ongoing with the final inspections tentatively set for February 22.

I will likely post a thread on it when it has concluded, but thought it might be interesting in this thread to look at the brood levels of the participants. The participants are heavy in the Southeast, but bee labs at Oregon State and Ohio State are both participating as well as many of the USDA ARS labs, including Beltsville, MD. My hives are represented on the interactive map by the southernmost blue dot in Alabama.

While I have no magic answer to the base question posed by the OP, my observations lead me to believe that brood-rearing is triggered by fresh pollen intake.
Thanks PSM for the informative reply.
I look forward to the conclusion of the study. hopefully we can see it when complete.
We can all do armchair science, but the real deal is often better and can support or refute the "guess"/ hypothesis.

IYO will the interruption every 2 week have an impact?
I read somewhere that NUCs were studied in a similar fashion, and the cluster disruptions had a heavy toll on the colonies.

good luck
thanks for your time involved in the testing, and maybe the hive issues caused

GG
 

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I concur with A. Novice on the potential for a Red Map[le surpus in S. E.wisconsin. We saw white wax the middle of March in 2012??? when we had several days in the 70's.

A prudent northern bees does not brood until Dandelions, and then goes like H E. double hockey sticks.

Uber? - that's the operative word in a German's theme song "Deutschland Uber Alles".

Crazy Roland
 

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It is the Blandest honey that you can imagine, sort of like maple syrup but not as strongly flavored.
I had some that the bees put up in the feeding shim last spring and I thought it would be quite a treat but it was rather disappointing. Just a couple of pieces of burr comb full of honey and they capped it even.
I actually liked it.
One time ever got to taste it.
Keep in mind - there are different types of maple too.
But overall, hardly possible to get any maple honey due to bad weather timing.
I agree - until dandelion, good local bees will not bother around here - it is a bad gamble.
Imported bees, of course, don't care - they fully depend on the supplements.


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I concur with A. Novice on the potential for a Red Map[le surpus in S. E.wisconsin. We saw white wax the middle of March in 2012??? when we had several days in the 70's.

A prudent northern bees does not brood until Dandelions, and then goes like H E. double hockey sticks.

Uber? - that's the operative word in a German's theme song "Deutschland Uber Alles".

Crazy Roland
Uber is also a slang term meaning superior.

It was quite popular in leetspeak, which can also be written as 13375p3ak. A form of communication and a subculture popular among computer geeks back in the day.
The idea was to write in a way that other 1337 ppl underst00d, but which would get by text based filters or sensors.
Uber = !_!b3r, as an example.
 

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other 1337 ppl underst00d,
1337, rotate 13, upside down, binary, used to have a bunch saved on my old computer. Not seen any Pig Latin except on YouTube... (Ginger Rogers slightly risque so no link.)
 

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Uber is also a slang term meaning superior.

It was quite popular in leetspeak, which can also be written as 13375p3ak. A form of communication and a subculture popular among computer geeks back in the day.
The idea was to write in a way that other 1337 ppl underst00d, but which would get by text based filters or sensors.
Uber = !_!b3r, as an example.
My context was 1:1 as Uber = taxi, no less, no more.
 

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GG:

I fully expected a huge negative impact on the study colonies by the inspections throughout winter. I set these colonies aside to basically sacrifice for the study.

I am only a data point and had no part in designing the study. But I believe the ultimate goal is to get a better understanding of regional brood cycles throughout the winter months. I anticipate that the study will continue for many seasons.

My hope for the study is that the researchers will one day be able to establish varroa treatment recommendations for each region based on repeated winter brood patterns. However, I do not speak for the study architects, nor am I privy to their ultimate goals.

Wouldn't we all love to know the optimum timing in our area to begin a three week OAV series? Weather and years will always vary, but a general guidepost would be great.

For instance, I always used OAV between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But this year, it looks like my lowest capped brood % was during the first week of November. I missed my best opportunity to treat by sticking with my routine. I am looking forward to what the researchers have to say when they have all of the data.
 

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But this year, it looks like my lowest capped brood % was during the first week of November. I missed my best opportunity to treat by sticking with my routine.
For the southern regions it makes sense to learn how to isolate the queens for winter.
These commercial guys (zone 7, Russia) are doing it in their annual cycle.
This way you set the treatment schedule, not the bees.
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GG:

I fully expected a huge negative impact on the study colonies by the inspections throughout winter. I set these colonies aside to basically sacrifice for the study.

I am only a data point and had no part in designing the study. But I believe the ultimate goal is to get a better understanding of regional brood cycles throughout the winter months. I anticipate that the study will continue for many seasons.

My hope for the study is that the researchers will one day be able to establish varroa treatment recommendations for each region based on repeated winter brood patterns. However, I do not speak for the study architects, nor am I privy to their ultimate goals.

Wouldn't we all love to know the optimum timing in our area to begin a three week OAV series? Weather and years will always vary, but a general guidepost would be great.

For instance, I always used OAV between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But this year, it looks like my lowest capped brood % was during the first week of November. I missed my best opportunity to treat by sticking with my routine. I am looking forward to what the researchers have to say when they have all of the data.
good info psm
if the 10 hives represent your Apiary then you should have the best time to treat for you, once the study is complete.. Good to know stuff like that. Maybe you will keep checking a few if the damage is minimum.

I have seen my russian mutts brood up then stop , then start , then stop.
Not all hives on the same schedule. its like they replace a few bees then are good to coast until better forage and weather.
So I would think the data could be quite varied.

GG
 

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