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Should I see brood allready?

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BenMurray 

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Hi Folks,

I started my first hive last season and they have just started flying again last week. There is very little (if any) pollen coming in at the moment but I am worried that there isnt any brood yet. At what point should I expect the Queen to start laying I have been concerned for a while that the colony may be queenless as laying seemed to stop fairly early last year. Any input greatly appreciated. I am in London by the way and would appreciate any contact with fellow London beekeepers.

Thanks

Ben
 

Hebeegeebee 

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My hives all have brood. 2 with 3 frames and one with 2 frames. Pollen is coming in too. One of the hives has emerging brood so the queen has been laying for a few weeks. Ensure you have honey in there or feed with syrup. In London, you should be a bit warmer than where I am, so I would have expected that you would have seen some activity by now. Time to be concerned, Ben! I hope you're wrong about being queenless and next time you inspect she's started!
 

BenMurray 

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Thanks heebeegeebee,

I fear the worst. I am going to give them until the end of next week and then take action. I am thinking about strengthening the colony by uniting it with another nuc of bees have you ever done this? what do you think?
 

Finman 

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Hi Folks,

There is very little (if any) pollen coming in at the moment but I am worried that there isnt any brood yet.Ben
Open the hive and look what you have there. A little bit smoke when you open it.

To loose the queen is not rare. To join two nucs or colonies is normal procedure in this case.
 
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jimbeekeeper 

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Some people have not even opened up their hives yet! (which is not a problem) My thought is if you have seen pollen coming in, whcih is a sign of brood.

The problem might be that if they are a small cluster they can not generate much heat to warm the hive.

When the hive is opened late on or when they are clustered, how many frames do they cover?

You mention above about a nuc, do you already have this or any other hives?
 

BenMurray 

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when the hive is opened late they cover about four/five frames. I only have the one hive so dont allready have another nucleus. How easily will they accept another nucleus assuming that they survive long enough for me to obtain one?

P.S Thanks for the advice guys its great to be able to ask specific questions from people with experience, the books can be ambiguous at best.
 

Finman 

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Some people have not even opened up their hives yet! (which is not a problem) My thought is if you have seen pollen coming in, whcih is a sign of brood.?
It is not problem if the hive has no problem.

If the hive has a tight cluster in chilly weather, it is a sign that they warm the brood area.

First what I look is that queen is normal.
Second what I look is that they have not too much space to be heated. Some colonies become quite small during winter.
 

Polyanwood 

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Hello Ben

I live in South London. Send me a PM if you do too so that we can have a look together at them if you want.

Karin
 

Bcrazy 

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Hey Hebeegeebee

I see your location is around my neck of the woods. Could you b a little more specific?

Ta.

Regards;
 

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