She often starts laying in January. Well there’s not much else for her to do, stuck in doors all day surrounded by doting workers who ensure she’s kept very warm.
There are two tell tale signs:
1. Bees taking pollen into the hive in January – Yes, we’ve seen that on numerous mild days.
2. A growing pile of dead bees appearing around the front of the hive. These are the winter workers dying off as their new replacements are born. Yes, seen that as well.
Some deceased urban bees.
But if the laying is followed by a cold snap that prevents the bees collecting pollen to feed to the babies – does that mean they will die? Comments welcome.