After one of the best seasons since I started beekeeping 15 years ago I am going into the 2017 season with 4 colonies. I took 5 into the Winter and found one had no queen and so has become a drone layer.
Season has started off very slowly because of the low average temperature – Spring blossom is 2 weeks later than normal.
A bit about me and my experience with beekeeping – I started out keeping bees 17 years ago. I saw a stand with an observation hive at a local craft show and signed up to attend a 10 week Winter theory course run by my local association, Reigate Beekeepers. I then had a chance to get some hands-on experience at the club’s teaching apiary before finally getting my own bees as a nucleus colony during the following Summer. For the first 6 years I made do with keeping just a couple of colonies in my back garden. My objective for this season is to try keep to around 6 colonies and maximise the honey yield.