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Two of 3 colonies made it through the winter. One is booming. Queen is laying much worker brood and some drone brood. Today I saw some drones outside the hive.

The other has a small cluster of about 1000 - 2000 bees and a queen, pretty much between 2 frames. This was an 8-frame colony last year, but given the small group, I moved the frames with the bees and several with stores into a 5-frame nuc. I imagine the original queen was lost late last year and this one is a virgin. No eggs are being laid. These bees have sufficient stores, and are not flying very much.

I am keeping this group out of curiousity, but wonder if this queen will go out and mate when warm weather comes. I would appreciate any thoughts on this.

Phil
 

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I'd add a frame of brood every week or ten days to boost their population, if the other hives can spare them, if the queen does not start laying or they don't raise a new one, you can always combine them and you really haven't lost anything. Sometimes a queen can be fertile and won't lay if the population is too low.
 
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