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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here's a dilema. It's been a very warm winter, I've heard reports that Florida Citrus bloomed 6 weeks early. I have a pollination contract for apples and if they also bloom early I might need my bees to be ready by next month. So do I...

A: Start feeding pollen patties and 1:1 or 1:1.5 syrup now to stimulate brood rearing, knowing full well that a freeze could kill the bees because they wouldn't be willing to recluster if it means leaving some of the brood to freeze.

B: Start feeding in a month.

C: None of the above and let the bees start rearing brood when they are ready to on their own and risk having some underpopulated colonies.
 

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Start with patties and 1:1 now. The bees will recluster when needed and carry out the chilled brood when it warms. They won't lose the hive to try and save a few larva.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Start with patties and 1:1 now.
That's what I was leaning toward doing... The location that I have these hives in gets a late start on building up as well, so that makes me want to make sure they're at pollination strength early. I'm thinking I'll just keep an eye on the weather and maybe wrap the hives if I see the low temps are supposed to drop down into the 20's or something.

The bees will recluster when needed and carry out the chilled brood when it warms. They won't lose the hive to try and save a few larva.
I've heard different from some commercial beeks... but I have to admit that I've never seen it happen personally.
 

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The local breeder here started in early Jan. and will be splitting in March. He buys queens from Hi., so doesn't need drones, just house bees.
 

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You need to stimulate brood production 40 to 42 days before an expected flow. Workers do not emerge after 21 days ready to fly or forage. Short answer you should have started after New Years Day to catch citrus. It is blooming already.
 
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