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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been pondering this for sometime. I have never read or heard anything on this subject. When the bees go into a cluster thru the coldest part of the winter they dont consume stores as fast as they do when feb and march hits and queen rearing begins. So During this coldest period. Do the bees keep the queen fed up plump as if ready to lay eggs? Or is she cut back and slimmed down similiar to what they do before they swarm?
 

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as stuff starts coming in (either natural or provided by the beekeeper) they start feeding the queen up for her spring time race. here a 'good hive' will slim the girl back to nothing by late November to mid December. some queens (likely the heaviest layers) never stop brooding up. these can brood you a lot of bees but also consume a lot of resources.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is along the lines of my thoughts but I have yet to see it in print or talked about so wasnt sure. Thanks Tec
 

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I have looked into a cluster mid winter the queen is still laying but only a small circle of brood maybe 5 inches.
Don :thumbsup:
 

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Wouldn't it depend on the breed also? some of our club members have Russian bees and they say that the queen stops laying in late Oct. and won't start laying till march or April (in our area) and then they explode. Jack
 

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Jack writes:
Wouldn't it depend on the breed also?

tecumseh:
I think I would suggest the level of brooding is highly breed dependent. This is likely to be a bit more complex than simply looking at the queen and saying she is an italian (<the only good kind of bee to rear anyway... hah) and think she may brood up all the way thru November and December. Mating also likely plays a large influence since the workers are playing a role in brood rearing before, during and after the fact.
 

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tecumseh said:
I think I would suggest the level of brooding is highly breed dependent.
An example. I have a number of hives that have Italian/Carnolian mix queens. They reduced hive numbers very early compared to the Italians I had last fall. They also don't seem to take as much syrup as the Italians. I was beginning last spring to think that mix wasn't worth 2 cents. Then the few I had then seemed to explode. The Italians just kinda ramped up, but they already had more numbers. I have added hives with this queen mix and also Italian "mutts". The Italians are currently building up faster, also eating more syrup. If this year mimics last year, the mix queens should take off middle of Feb.
 

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I bought some Carnolian queens late one year and they pretty much did the same as Rast reported. A small cluster size equated to less feed resources and they begin brooding up a bit later than my majority 'italian' stock. The made a nice box of bees once they did get going.
 

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I have been buying carnolian queens for the last five years,i also raise several queens every year and catch several swarms (18 last year) ever year :thumbsup: . The drones from the swarms can be anything (some real yellow looking) So most of mine are mutt's. I agree with the example that rast gave on the carnolian/italian mix, and will add that the carnolian build up fast, but have a strong tendency to swarm in the spring, and i never seen brood in Dec. or Jan.inside there hive (on the rare days i could go into them). But like rast said, with the carnolian/italian mix, i've found a patch of brood (silver dollar size in Jan) in the hives with queens i raised. That's why i think it's the breed of bee's. :confused: Jack
 
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