I'm coming to the end of my first year beekeeping so I'm stiill really new at this and need some advise. I only have 1 hive, I just took my first look of the spring and have found bees but no brood of any kind anywhere in the hive. I live in northeast wisconsin, and the weather is really up and down this time of year. Is it too early to try to order a new queen? and should I start feeding the bees that are still in the hive? There is still some capped honey in the hive. Thanks for any help.
Your bee population should be low if you don't see any brood. So finding the queen should be easy if she is there. I would ascertaine this first.
Then I would look for another local beekeeper and ask if what you are seeing in your hive is normal or
From where I sit I really cannot offer much help because I don't know when your brood build-up is supposed to start.
Contact queen sellers closest to you and pump them for information. I'm sure they will tell you from past sales when people from your area receive their queens. They might even tell you who and where is a beekeeper near you.
The Univ of Minnesota has an excellent bee program and you might get some help there. Minnesota should be in about the same temperature range as in your locale, I'm thinking.
Last but not least, your state Dept. of Agriculture should be able to help you.