So… Had ankle surgery in the beginning of November. Did a quick check of my hive the day before surgery. Verified queen, brood, etc. Checked on them again at the end of November and didn’t see any brood on the few frames I pulled. Bees were in a bad mood due to weather and with my recovery, I didn’t investigate further. Fed some sugar water. Still 1:1 as our winter doesn’t really start until February. Of course, we’ve now had about 6 days below freezing since. Finally a nice day, so I pulled all frames. No brood on any. Queen present but not laying. Bees still building comb, coming and going, and storing. Any ideas? Thanks
Most places the queen shuts down for a time before the winter solstice and starts back up sometime after the solstice. Usually, in my location, I see brood about mid January (very little brood). By March there is usually a lot of brood. They may take a brood break between January and March. Like a rest. It takes a lot of work to keep brood warm. The center of the cluster with no brood is about 70 F. The center of the cluster with brood is 93 F.
You really shouldn’t have brood in a hive in Arkansas at this time of year. If your temperatures are regularly below 50F, they won’t take syrup well. I would consider providing candy or dampened white granulated sugar instead. Your photos show a healthy-looking hive for winter months. I wouldn’t open it again until the weather warms up considerably, except to feed.
Thank you guys. First winter and had some dead bees on the top when I opened it. Then confirmation of zero brood concerned me. Everything seemed fine beside. Feel better now
Our temps are usually steady in December and not really below 50 much. Some Xmas we have snow for a day and some we wear shorts. Supposed to be 69° this Xmas. Nothing ever regular with Arkansas weather. Thanks for the response