It's the start of a new year and it is pretty stormy here in the South of England. I wandered down to my apiary this morning to make sure the hives were still standing and I am pleased to report they were all standing and they had bees flying around all over the place. I realised that it was quite warm and the sun was out too, so the bees were taking advantage of this mild and dry spell in the weather to get out and stretch their wings. I dashed down to the shed to get my suit on and grabbed some fondant as this was an opportunity to get into the hives, check they are doing ok and give them some feed if they need it - all without disturbing them as much you would expect to do so at this time of year and they would usually be clustered together for warmth. Well, it was mainly very good news - all the British National hives were really healthy, strong in volume and stores were still plentiful. One of the Top Bar hives was fine, but I had a smaller and weaker colony in the other Top Bar hive which has expired - I kinda expected that to happen, but hoped they would make it. But generally this is good and great to see that the stores are still well stocked for the colonies still in action. I might have to make do with hefting the hives from now on though, as there is more bad weather on the way... and if you missed the UK Honey Show this year, then some of the lectures are on YouTube - worth a look if you have some spare time.