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Spring inspection No brood but loads of bees


#1

Hello,

I think i need help with my bees.

Back story: got my NUC last year. I grew my colony and it was strong going into winter. I fed them well through winter with a candy board.

Problem: Today was the only day i thought the temperature was high enough for my first inspection 11degrees. I opened the hive and all looked well i have 10,s of thousands of bees more that i ever had last year. As i continued with the inspection there was still honey frames but i noticed most of the frames where empty. Deep in the middle there was a patch of capped brood about the size of my fist with some larvae around it.

I’m not the best at spotting the queen but the lack of eggs brood larvae is making me think i don’t have a queen.

PANIC STATIONS - should i re-queen?, how long does my colony have?

Any help would be super appreciated.

Gratefully

Alan


#2

Relax, its still very early. I’m lots to the south of you and I don’t intend opening my hive for another two weeks at least.
Fact is you have capped brood and larvae which means you had an active queen quite recently. Chances are shes still there and laying is just getting underway. Are your bees flying a lot on warm days and bringing in pollen?
Your hive does sound though that it might be short of feed. It could be worthwhile feeding them some fondant until the weather warms up properly.


#3

Ermm, you saw capped brood and larvae today? Are you worried because it is only the size of your fist? :blush:

In Glasgow, if you have that size of brood nest, your queen is a champion! :wink: Don’t let the Australians, and us Californians freak you out. I might have 4 frames of brood already, but I probably won’t get as much honey as you this year. :blush:

OK, off to make up some new frames now. I have 2 queens from Hawaii arriving this week, and I need enough frames to make a decent split or two. :slight_smile:


#4

Hi again.

I obviously have made a bit of a rookie mistake inspecting the hive so early in the season. Ive read in various places that 10 degrees is okay to inspect in but I clearly know that it isn’t now. I will continue to feed the bees until mid-April and keep my fingers crossed. Thank you for responding to my email. I really appreciate it.

many kind regards

Alan


#5

My set up through winter was roof then i used a miller feeder that i built with the floating rafts taken out and filled it with wood shavings for insulation and moisture absorption. Below that I made a candy board with 6kg of candy in it with space for the bees to crawl through the candy and let air circulate. also had a top exit hole cut into it. I wrapped my hive with building paper. I take it the fact there are 10’s of thousands of bees (ladies) in the hive the now is a good sign?

On hot days they do fly. Also any idea when or if they are likely to swarm?

many thanks

Alan


#6

About 6 weeks after you see the first drone cells in your hive. :wink: Not kidding, that is my mentor’s gold standard. :blush: