07917 677667 beesatbobs@btinternet.com RJ beekeeping, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands

It was great to see at one of my sites today, fresh pollen being brought in at all the hives (except one!). So chances are brood is being reared, a real positive sign. But as if to knock me down when I dare to feel good, the nucleus with no activity had died out – the first casualty of the winter. Looking at my notes it stood little hope really: a fruitful colony last summer that lost its’ queen in July, then struggled and re-queened itself again in August. I dropped it from a full hive into a nuc for winter but only found brood at the end of September. It was in reality way too small to survive the winter and people may argue I should have united it, but… But it still hurts!On a lighter note : Picture taken at one of the hives with bee and pollen just discernable. Note at far end of entrance Apiguard tray that disappeared last autumn (bees have tried to throw it out through mouse guard!).