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Author Topic: honey bound  (Read 907 times)

Offline scully

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honey bound
« on: November 21, 2008, 10:44:54 PM »
In SF Bay area I have one two deep box hive with top box allframes honey and bottom box honey/pollen in all frames. Lots of bees but no brood or sign of queen. Last good inspection 9/20. there was 61/5 frames of brood with a good pattern in the bottom box. I just spun out four frames in the bottom hoping the queen is still around. Also bees fly year round here, most all winter info from written materials doesn't fit. Any others with honey bound w/no or little brood?

Offline BjornBee

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Re: honey bound
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2008, 07:31:52 AM »
Regardless of whether they fly year round, much of brood production is based on 1)programmed instinct from the past million years. 2) The shortening or lengthening of the days. 3) Whether there is a flow.
I would imagine that for most places, without stimulation from nectar and pollen being brought in, brood production slows or stops. Many commercial places in California or Florida must stimulate feeding to get brood raised in winter, even in warm climate areas.

The only way you will know about the queen is to do complete inspection and find the queen. There are telltale signs of queenlessness, but are hard to see if you have not seen it before. There will be a distinctive humming coming from the hive, etc.

At this point, until the third week of December, I would not expect to see brood production.  ;)
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Offline ikeepbees

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Re: honey bound
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2008, 11:13:48 AM »
I'm on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. Not sure how the weather in SF relates to mine, but I do have brood year round in my hives. In hives I keep just a little further north, there is short brood break around late December / early January.

Bjorn's right, the only way to know for sure is to search for her. Your other options are to just wait til Spring and see what happens, or just break down the hive and give the stores and bees to other hives.

He also mentioned that there are signs of queenlessness - one that I have noticed a few times over the years is that when there is a queen, but no brood (i.e. a supersedure queen that is not yet laying), the colony will hold a brood area open and ready, or maybe filled with nectar. But if it's plugged with pollen it has usually been a queenless situation.

Question: do your other hives have brood now? If not, are they holding a small area open for brood?
Rob Koss

"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." - Thomas Jefferson