I've let myself in for it now; I've taken on the job of Newsletter Editor for the local Beekeepers' Association.
I had a look at the hives the other day; it was more like April than February. Hive 6 is dead. I was wondering last time. When I think back, they didn't really bring in any honey last autumn, while Hive 4 was storing masses. They slowly windled away over the winter. that's often indicative of hybridisation with unsuitable imports. People bring in queens from southern Europe or other warmer climates; they don't fly or mate in poor weather, and they don't cope with cold winters. I don't understand the attraction.
Hive 4 is flourishing. The queen evidently stopped laying during the cold snap last week, and has now started again. They were bringing in masses of hazel pollen, and actually have some stored. I've never seen bees storing pollen in February before.
My wife has just bought a video camera, and I made my first ever video, of the allotment. It's very short, but I included some shots of the bees as well as snowdrops and hellebores. You can see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbI6XqPUShQ .
23 hours ago