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I've read here that on or about this date the queens start laying again...is this really true or is it location dependent? It would kind of make sense to start replacing winter losses as these new bees wouldn't start hatching until the end of January anyway.
 

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Probably starts just after solstice "Dec. 21-22" at the equator and works northward.
Weather and food supply and food sources, health of the queen and hive, ETC. can vary it even more.
 

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I think the January 5 date was one present by Dr Larry Conners in one of his lectures. Date should primarily depend on temperature and day light length and therefore location.

ps... beekeeping begins in earnest here today for exactly the reason suggested in your post.
 

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My bees are out in force today as we are having a warm spell here in Illinois. The activity in front of the hive sure looks alot like orientation flights.
 

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it must be location because we have brood here all year long from what im told...an from looking in my hives...there has been brood always....tho the brood pattern has been smaller as of late i havent been in to check in a couple of weeks....might be larger now....last i saw was a good grapefruit size ball....but there have been orientation flights when ive been here to see them....its time to feed here now for buildup.
 
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