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What triggers brooding post winter solstice?

4750 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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Snarge: I see a lot of pollen pants that look identical to the pictures you have above. In my region, it is indicative of what we call "henbit." However, the plant that you have pictured is not the same plant as what I know as "henbit" although the flowers look pretty similar.

Does anyone know if purple dead nettle, red dead nettle and henbit are all basically the same plant? I found this link that discusses it, but I still don't have a clear answer.

 

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Snarge: I see a lot of pollen pants that look identical to the pictures you have above. In my region, it is indicative of what we call "henbit." However, the plant that you have pictured is not the same plant as what I know as "henbit" although the flowers look pretty similar.

Does anyone know if purple dead nettle, red dead nettle and henbit are all basically the same plant? I found this link that discusses it, but I still don't have a clear
Hi psm1212

They are different plants~both are weeds and abundant in my yard, though just the PDN is growing right now. I differentiate them by their leaves; the PDN leaf is a little furrier than the HB and has a purplish tint. Both produce red pollen when collected by the bees.
 

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Snarge:
Does anyone know if purple dead nettle, red dead nettle and henbit are all basically the same plant? I found this link that discusses it, but I still don't have a clear answer.
Purple Deadnettle has heart-shaped leaves. Henbit has more circular-shaped leaves, growing in a rosette pattern. The leaves tend to surround the central stem.
 

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Purple Deadnettle has heart-shaped leaves. Henbit has more circular-shaped leaves, growing in a rosette pattern. The leaves tend to surround the central stem.
Plant Flower Botany Terrestrial plant Groundcover

Henbit~with its circular rosettes of leaves~on the left, shows what Clong said. It’s amazing to me that both the pollens are such a deep red even though the flowers are pinkish.
 

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The sun puts out much more than just the light ranges that we can see. I am still of the opinion that the daylight hours changes is the trigger for bee behavior even beyond brooding.

I am friends with a queen breeder in Hawaii. Hawaii is so close to the equator that the change in day length is mostly non existent. His bees brooding never slows, it's always on and he sells queens year around. Is it because of daylight length of days or is it because of constant nectar and pollen flows? He has stated times where flows are not so good and he puts on feeders in some of his yards over there.

Here where I keep bees, somewhat depending on the strains I've kept, I'll have little to no brood by mid December, but then brood starting up again by mid January, with no flows changes and no added feeding, and weather about the same at both times of checking. All I can think of is Winter Solstice, changes in day light hours. Bees notice the Change more than the progression, the solstices and the equinoxes, is when I notice changes in priorities and behavior by the bees.

Of course there are other factors, yes I have kept bees brooding more strongly all thru winter by actively feeding and making sure mite levels are low. But I don't think that's a trigger for starting brood up after solstice, I think it's the change in length of days.
 

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I cut logs in the winter when I couldn't work bees . when we would get a warm day the bees would come and get the sap on the tree stumps and also work the sawdust carrying some of it home like pollen. with 1to 2 feet of snow on the ground, so bees will work when the weather is warm enough for them to forage, as for starting brood rearing they have a built in clock that tells them when to start brood rearing , just like they know how to make cells in a shape that will use all the comb. So in closing I guess it is up to the bees. as man is not smart enough to know when to do stuff. we can only fool the bees in to doing stuff that we want them to do
 

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Your avatar says your from FL, do you not live there now? I didn't know FL gets 1-2 Feet of snow
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I came from Norther New York just south of the St Lawrence river and north of the Adirondack mountains we got 6 to 8 feet of snow and 40below zero nights. I came to Florida in 1969 and haven't shoveled any snow here. some times when we didn't get all the bees out of the north soon enough we had to move some snow
 
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