As you can see, I'm digging steadily, and covering everything with dead leaves. There's not much goodness in them, but it keeps the weeds down, keeps the soil damp in dry soells, feeds the worms, and adds humus. The recent frosts finished off the roses, but hellebores are flowering, and snowdrops are showing colour. Not long to the end of winter!
One hive has died out; the other three are looking good. The dead one dwindled away over a period, leaving a very small, very dead cluster, with food available. So they didn't starve. I suspect a bowel fungus called Nosema, but without a microscope, I can't prove it.