I'm sure at some point in a bees life that it will lose the ability to produce jelly. The bees in this colony were over 3 months old. The colony did not have any brood in it from the last of November until I put some in it. A week after giving the colony a pollen patty I still did not see eggs. The queen was one of last years queens and shouldn't have already failed. Why would this one colony have no brood or eggs when almost all my other ones did? The colony that I took the brood and bees from has a sister to the queen in the weak colony. It's mind boggling to me. If I really had to guess I would say that there was a protein deficiency in the colony which caused the older overwintered bees to miss their window of opportunity before their time of being productive broodrearers expired. I've read that bees which are preparing to overwinter will gorge themselves on pollen and store the protein as fat in their bodies. They will later use these reserves when raising brood when it is too cold to leave the cluster. A protein deficiency from last autumn cold be a factor as to why the colony had not started back up. Without the young bees at the proper time, I estimate some of my other colonies were up to a month ahead of this one, the old bees had became too old to make the jelly once they were given the pollen patties. I am talking about 3 month old overwintered bees (at the youngest), not a bee which had been foraging and forced back into raising brood at three or four weeks of age like Jay Smith was speaking of. Anyhow, I want this colony to make it. If it isn't the older bees, what do you think it is? The queen? Think she has failed? I'll be looking in the hive today to see if I have eggs. If I have eggs I am blaming the older bees. If I don't have eggs I'll look again next week. If I don't have eggs by then I'll blame the queen. The good thing is that if the queen has failed I will be able to get a queen before too much longer. If need be, I'll be able to introduce a new queen when the youngest bees in the colony are two weeks old, or the first of April (seeing how I gave the weak colony a frame of open brood in all stages which included eggs). There are enough bees for them to make it until then if they have to.