Poly nucs and winter losses

Synopsis : Save money. Take your winter losses now. Unite weak colonies or those headed by dodgy queens … and some thoughts on poly nucs for overwintering.


With apologies to Winston Churchill:

“Now this is not the end. It is perhaps the beginning of the end.” 1

And even a cursory look through couple of colonies will confirm this. They are shifting from their summer labours to the late summer preparations for winter.

The signs are easy to spot.

Colonies with ample super space are beginning to backfill the broodnest with nectar. You can see it sparkling in the sun.

Backfilled cells (and a drone or two)

You also see this when the colonies have nowhere else to store fresh nectar, but my supers are disappointingly full of space this year 2 ) so they’re opting to keep it close. The brood pattern can look a bit spotty, but the queen is ‘missing’ the cells because they’re already full.

Most of my east coast colonies have stopped, or almost stopped, rearing drones. There are still plenty of drones about but they’re not producing any more this season.

This makes sense. Drones are ‘expensive’ in terms of the resources (pollen, nectar, time, workers) needed to rear them and the chance that they will successfully complete a mating flight this late in the season is limited.

They’re not chucking them out yet though. On a warm afternoon the distinctive sound of a thousand drones going out on the pull fills the air.

Ever the optimists 😉 .

Colonies are still strong and busy. They contain a lot of brood, but the laying rate of the queen is slowing and – presumably 3 – they will very soon start rearing the long-lived winter bees that will take the colony through to next spring.

Take your winter losses now

And, as the colonies segue from producing summer bees to winter bees, I’m also starting to plan for the winter. This involves preparing the colonies I want and getting rid of (i.e. uniting) those surplus to requirements or underperforming.

It’s better to make these decisions before feeding and treating for mites. If you don’t there are two (or perhaps three) inevitable consequences:

  1. You’ll have the unnecessary expense of feeding and treating colonies that you subsequently decide to unite. I reckon this costs me about £16-17 per colony, assuming fondant prices haven’t gone through the roof 4.
  2. If you subsequently decide to unite two colonies you’ve already fed and treated you’ll be doing it in mid/late October, which is far from ideal … so you’ll probably not bother and aim to deal with the colony next year, in which case …
  3. Some of the colonies you should have united in mid/late August will die overwinter – poor queens, understrength etc. – meaning you not only have the financial loss of the food and miticides, but you also have no colony at the beginning of the next season.

So … take your winter losses now 😉 .

Late season inspections

It’s actually somewhere between mid-season and late-season, but erring towards the latter.

My last full colony inspection, by which I mean every frame in the brood box (and sometimes every frame shaken free of bees to check the brood very carefully) was several weeks ago.

Queenless colony … she was in my marking cage, the last queen of the season

By early/mid August my inspections are much more selective:

  • Colonies with this year’s queens may have already had their last inspection. If not I’ll have a peek when I take the honey off and feed/treat. If the behaviour is good and the colony is strong there’s no chance I’ll not be overwintering them. Since the queen pheromone levels will be high there’s also little to no chance of swarming, so there’s no point in rummaging unnecessarily through the brood box. Leave them to get on with things 🙂 .
  • Understrength colonies or those with a questionable temperament get looked at more carefully. Are they understrength simply because the queen took her time getting mated, or because I harvested frames of brood to make up nucs? In these cases they will make up the shortfall and should be fine if the queen is laying well. However, if they’re understrength because the queen is failing (lots of missed cells, drone brood peppered about, unseasonably low laying rate) then they will be united (having removed the queen). Similarly, a colony that repeatedly behaves badly will probably have the same fate … why should I put up with surly bees? 5
  • For the same reasons (i.e. potential queen failure) colonies with aging queens get looked at carefully.
  • Nucs destined for overwintering are also carefully checked as they must be strong to successfully overwinter them.

Winter losses

Annual colony losses are reported to vary between about 10% and 40% based upon national association surveys. As I’ve previously said, I don’t really trust any of these figures as I don’t think they are validated with any rigour.

I’m sure most survey respondents are predominantly truthful, but I suspect some beekeepers who experience particularly high losses never respond (some abandon beekeeping). This will result in overall losses being underestimated.

The figures from one survey last year were particularly strange. 84% of beekeepers reported no losses at all. Overall losses were reported to be 16% (only 1% in Wales!) and, of those, only 12% were due to Varroa or DWV. However, 33% of beekeepers also reported that they used no miticides.


It would be good to see some validation of these numbers.

All of which is a bit of a digression. Individual beekeepers should aim to minimise their winter losses by ensuring the colonies that they take into the winter have the best chance of surviving. Personally I think responsible beekeepers should try and avoid unnecessary colony deaths.

In addition, I really dislike dealing with messy, mouldy frames from a ‘dead out’ on a raw March morning.

Just back to those reported losses for a second … 38% were thought to be due to ‘queen problems’ e.g. the death of the queen, drone laying queens or ageing queens 6. Whilst I’m surprised that these were more than three times more frequent than the Varroa/DWV double-whammy, queen failures are a significant cause of winter colony failures and so it makes sense to try and avoid them before they happen.

Other than taking off the honey, my colony inspections and manipulations in August are all associated with minimising my winter losses.


Overwintered nucs are really useful.

With a well-mated young queen they’ll take off like a rocket in the spring, often building up fast enough to get a crop of spring honey. Alternatively, if you do lose colonies overwinter, perhaps because you failed to apply some tough love in the autumn, then an overwintered nuc can be used to repopulate the hive, so restoring colony numbers.

Here's one I prepared earlier

Here’s one I prepared earlier … an overcrowded overwintered nuc in April

Or you can sell them to the first flush of eager new beekeepers who have completed their ‘Begin beekeeping’ courses in draughty church halls 7 during the interminable dark winter evenings.

Overwintered nucs, with a proven queen, are rightly valued more highly than a nuc in mid-June.

And the great things about nucs is that they’re relatively easy to overwinter with the right preparation. I think this involves three things:

  • ensuring they are as strong and healthy as possible going into the winter, with a young, well-mated queen.
  • feeding them properly and then usually topping them up with fondant as needed through the winter. You cannot have a lot of bees and a lot of stores in a 5 frame nuc box.
  • helping them minimise the stores they need to use by housing them in a well-insulated nuc box.

I’ve overwintered nucs in cedar boxes in the past, but the availability of high quality, well-insulated, polystyrene nuc boxes has made things a whole lot easier.

All poly nucs are equal, but some are more equal than others

The quality of the insulation provided by a poly nuc depends upon two things 8, the:

  • thickness of the walls and roof
  • thermal insulation of the material (which is probably correctly expressed as the K-, R- or U-value for thermal conductivity, resistance or transmittance)

I don’t have values for the latter and I’m not aware that they are published … so let’s assume that all poly nucs are made from the same stuff (I’ll return to this briefly later).

I’ve bought at least five types of poly nuc over the years. Like many I started with Paynes (which was one of the first available). I’ve got a few Paradise boxes 9, two varieties from Maisemore’s and the majority are Thorne’s Everynucs. I’ve not used the Paradise boxes for years so I’ll ignore those.

I measured the walls and roof of all but the Paynes boxes (which are in storage). Everynucs are thick walled and have a pretty substantial roof. There are two Maisemore’s designs; one with an integral floor and recessed handholds in the end walls, and another with a separate floor and plain-sided brood box.

Make Roof thickness (mm) Wall thickness – side, end (mm)
Thorne’s Everynuc 35 40, 40
Maismore’s – integral floor 20 30, 25
Maismore’s – separate floor 40 30, 60
Paynes Thin 20?

Despite the two Maisemore’s boxes being the same outer dimensions, and with some interchangeable parts, the poly thickness of the end wall (because of the handholds) and the roof are less in the version with the integral floor.

Two Maismore’s roofs

If I was buying more – and I did this year – I’d get the version without the integral floor. Better insulated and altogether more flexible.

K-, R- or U-values?

‘Better insulated’ assuming the two boxes from Maisies are made from the same poly with similar K-, R- or U-values.

These aren’t published and I have no way of measuring them properly.

Do any readers know these having contacted the manufacturers?

Do the manufacturers even know them? They usually just quote the density of the poly if they quote anything.

It might be an interesting winter project to try and compare the relative insulation of the boxes. Perhaps placing a container holding a litre of hot water and then recording the rate of cooling might be informative?

Alternatively it might be possible to determine the amount of energy (think honey stores) needed to keep the inside of the box at a constant 30°C.

Three Everynucs and a double-decker Maisies nuc

Or perhaps not … the ‘not-beekeeping’ season here is so long I’ve got to find things to entertain me 😉 .

Of course, the boxes have to be empty before any of these measurements can be taken, so it’s convenient that I freed up a couple of nuc boxes at the beginning of the week by uniting them.

Uniting nucs

You can unite nucs with other nucs or with colonies in full hives. It depends what you want to achieve, what equipment you have to hand and where the nucs are located.

During the last round of inspections I found two nucs (in separate apiaries) without laying queens.

Actually, as far as I could ascertain, without any queens 🙁 .

Puzzling as there were queens there two weeks ago.

One of the nucs was pictured a fortnight ago. At that point it was a dummied down 5 frame colony in an 8 frame butchered Paynes poly nuc. You can’t tell from that photo (unless you understand my colony and queen numbering system) that it contained a virgin queen, but it did.

Now, as far as I can tell, it doesn’t 🙁 .

Room up top … uniting Everynucs

Since it was in a Paynes box with an integral floor I had to transfer the frames to an empty nuc brood box over a (slightly understrength as it turned out) queenright nuc. I united them with newspaper and on my next visit will shuffle the frames out that lack brood, treat them and feed them up for winter.


The ‘recipient’ nuc, perhaps as a consequence of its strength, was short on stores. Before uniting I squeezed a kilogram or two of fondant into the integral feeder to keep them going.

It’s not unusual for colonies lacking a strong foraging force to struggle for stores if nectar isn’t in abundance.

It isn’t 🙁 .

Big, booming colonies manage to collect an excess, but smaller colonies can starve in similar conditions.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

The other nuc was in an out apiary and it was easier to unite them with another colony there, rather than moving them to a distant apiary and uniting with another nuc. I therefore transferred them into a spare brood box with some drawn comb before uniting them with an adjacent colony.

Ambitious? I think so.

The drawn comb is a ‘just in case’ measure.

Usually I’d just dummy down five frames in a brood box on top of a full colony.

However, that leaves an empty void in the upper brood box and there’s a faint chance the colony would fill this with brace comb in the fortnight before I next visit 10.

I’m pretty certain there’s going to be no late season nectar flow, I think it’s “all over bar the shouting” in my Fife apiaries.

However ‘just in case’ I’ve given them some drawn comb to use instead.

They won’t 🙁 .

Two queens still

Attentive readers will remember I found a freshly emerged virgin queen in a colony with a – to me at least 11 – perfectly good 2023 clipped, marked laying queen.

Now, a fortnight later, both queens are still in the same box.

She looks fine to me

I found the marked queen on the central frames apparently laying well (at least, I observed her laying and assume the eggs on adjacent frames were probably also laid by her). I found the unmarked queen on an outer frame, scuttling around on cells filled with pollen

The usurper?

Although she was plumper and a bit less skittish I think she’s still unmated or, if mated, yet to start laying.

The weather over the intervening fortnight has certainly been good enough for queen mating, with 6-7 days over 20°C which is often quoted as the lower limit for queen mating 12.

There seemed no point in intervening so I left them to get on with things and will be interested to see what has happened (if anything) by my next visit.

Winter reading

Brian Johnson’s book Honey Bee Biology has just been published by Princeton University Press. This is a scientific review of the current (and historical in places) understanding of the biology of honey bees. My copy arrived this week and I’ve dipped into it to check a few topics, but will read it carefully over the winter.

One of the topics I skimmed was supersedure and I was disappointed and relieved in equal measure to find that Johnson knows as much, or as little, as I do on the topic 😉 .

Johnson’s book is probably not recommended for those uncomfortable when faced by some some pretty heavyweight biology. He doesn’t hold back when it is necessary to discuss Notch signalling or cGMP protein kinases.

You have been warned … but if you’re still interested, NHBS have the book on special offer at the moment 13.

Winter reading and field guides

In the same parcel from NHBS I also received two slim Bloomsbury Wildlife Pocket Guides by Richard Lewington; to the butterflies and the bumble bees of Great Britain and Ireland. Both are beautifully illustrated and contain more than enough information to identify things you see in the apiary. The bumble bees book covers just one tenth of the bees detailed in Steven Falk’s magnum opus, the Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland 14, but if you struggle to distinguish a Bombus ruderarius from a Bombus ruderatus then you’ll get the answer faster from the Lewington guide.

Something for the Christmas list perhaps?


All equipment suppliers change the specification of their products periodically. The Maisemore’s nucs I own were all purchased in the last 3 or 4 years, the green ones pictured are newer. I checked their website and it now looks as though both boxes might now have a similar roof. The brood box with the integral floor (and circular entrance disk) is a convenient design, but I’d still favour the separate floor and thick-walled brood box.

Everynucs look much the same now as when I bought them a decade or so ago. I’ve written about some of their failings previously … mostly trivial, and all surmountable. They’re great nucs.

All my Paynes boxes have the internal infernal feeder removed. They now have an entrance disk but I think the wall and roof thickness remain the same (too thin for me).


Fondant prices are steeply up this year. I think I’m paying ~50% more than I did last year, at about £18 for 12.5 kg … which means a fed/treated colony that is subsequently united or expires results in the loss of about £24 rather than the £16-17 quoted above.

Time I put my honey prices up 😉


  1. Lord Mayor’s luncheon speech, 1942, responding to the Allied victory at El Alamein.
  2. More on that another week.
  3. You can’t tell by appearance.
  4. Which I’ll know about soon as I’ve just ordered 300 kg of the stuff.
  5. And, more importantly, why should I impose them on others?
  6. Ageing per se is not a problem!
  7. Is there any other type of church hall?
  8. With apologies to any physicists or engineers … and ignoring stuff like open mesh floors, feeders etc.
  9. Modernbeekeeping.
  10. Ideally I’d have used a fat dummy in which case I’d do it like this:

    Uniting a nuc with a full colony

    Uniting a nuc with a full colony …

  11. But what the hell do I know? My bet is that the bees know best.
  12. It isn’t. If it was I’d get no queens mated some summers.
  13. Not an affiliate link, just a satisfied customer happy to buy from someone other than Jeff Bezos.
  14. Also illustrated by Richard Lewington.

14 thoughts on “Poly nucs and winter losses

  1. Hans Weijman

    polystyrene nucs come in different densities.
    Paynes 120g\l
    Maisemore 100g\l they now have a much improved, thicker roof akin to that of bshoneybees
    bshoneybees 120g\l
    Abelo 160g\l

    I’ve used all of these, and more. I use a mixture of Maisemore with the separate floor and bshoneybees parts.
    interesting to see your seizing of the different nucs but shouldn’t the density be taken into consideration too? I guess the higher the density the better the thermal rating?

    1. David Post author

      Hello Hans

      I’ve not looked at the Abelo nucs but use a lot of their hives. It’s notable that in midwinter you can sometimes tell where the cluster is in an Abelo hive by the ‘dry patch’ on the outer wall of the brood box.

      Cluster position

      I’ve not seen the same thing on any poly nucs other than the thin-walled/roofed Paynes boxes I’ve used. Since the Abelo ‘poly’ is denser this suggests to me that there isn’t a direct relationship between density and insulation. I suspect density is more relevant to how robust the hive is to the physical knocks that are typical when moving boxes. If the box was made of steel it would have a much greater density, but it would conduct heat much more efficiently than poly …

      Derek Mitchell has done quite a few measurements comparing thermal losses of hives vs. natural tree cavities but a quick scan of a couple of his papers failed to turn up any mention of nucs. He did compare the thermal conductance of Paynes and Paradise National boxes which were ~7% different if my understanding of the paper is correct. But there’s no mention of the poly density.

      More research is needed 😉


  2. Vince Poulin

    Good reminders David. I’ve been doing exactly what you have outlined. My NUCs are in Warre sized boxes and all 2023 NUCs doing very well except for one. Call it one out of 6. It thought it may have been a poor queen. Coincidentally a new queen cell arrived in my primary hive. Brtillant! I gave that cell to the NUC and placed the old queen in a bank. A lovely virgin queen arrived but sadly lost during her mating cycle. I gave her 1-week to mate. That inspection resulted in no queen and the beginnings of a laying worker hive. I returned the banked queen and will be critical of her laying pattern. If not successful I’ll combine her hive with another NUC. Less is more. Its been an outstanding summer here in coastal BC. What can I say, bring on Climate Change. Vancouver will soon be the New San Francisco! OK, seriously. Any ideas? – all 2023 NUCs and one primary donor hive are virtually mite free. Using a new vaporizer I test treated the hives with OA over 2 consecutive treatments (vapour, 3 grams). My total mite drop has been 2 mites for all 6 NUCs. Treatments were 4-days apart. Currently at 10-days of monitoring. The donor hive to those NUCs was also treated (hive 7) and just 2 mites killed. Its been a hot, dry summer. Is it possible outside the hives mite densities have been affected by the dry conditions? In past years mite densities have been exceptionally high – the norm. I realize NUC’s are a form of brood brake but all of mine were started using brood frames containing queen cells. Usually all stages of brood. That said, all were started with small populations usually 3 frames of bees of varying densiteis. These are small Warre frames. Perhaps equal to say 2 Nationals.. I did use drone comb in the donor hive to trap mites over the season but not the NUCs. There is never a dull year in bee keeping.

    1. David Post author

      Hi Vince

      Never a dull year … but there are unproductive ones, and this looks like being one of those 🙁 .

      If you start a nuc with small amount of sealed brood (but little or no unsealed brood on the frames) and a QC and it then takes the new Q the ‘normal’ sort of time to mate, or a little longer, then it’s likely that there will be a broodless period … and these are always good for reducing mite levels. There’s no brood for the mites to hide in but the bees continue to do their allogrooming resulting in mites dropping out of the box.

      I’m not aware of environmental conditions directly influencing mite levels, but they will certainly indirectly influence them. For example, a drought coupled with high temperatures results in low humidity outside the hive but the environment of the hive stays reasonably humid as the bees need that for brood rearing (my recollection is that mites suffer with high humidity, but that’s inside the hive, not environmental). However, drought often leads to a dearth of nectar and the queens reducing egg laying, leading sometimes to a brood break. Even if there’s no brood break, the reduced levels give the mites less places to reproduce, so limiting mite levels.

      Your levels sound pretty good for this time of the season. Well done.

      Don’t be so hasty to welcome climate change … the millions of years of co-evolution that have resulted in colonies being strong enough to exploit the spring nectar, so they’re strong enough to swarm early enough that the swarms have a chance of survival, is being upset. Flowering is earlier but colonies will not necessarily be there to take advantage of it. Of course, there’s also the possibility that an extended season will allow new nectars to be exploited – such as ivy in northern latitudes – but my enthusiasm for that is tempered by the thought of winters with shorter, or no, broodless periods … so more mites 🙁 .

      If I had time I’d write something properly about this.


  3. Dorothie Jones

    Thanks David,
    Just preparing a talk for this year’s ‘newbies’ on winter prep. This will be very useful.
    A lot of the questions we get are about the ‘insulation/ventilation debate for wooden hives. So many opinions out there.
    Do you have any thoughts?
    Personally I’m in the ‘only insulate the roof’ camp, which has always worked for us, but others are for the insulate the whole hive approach. Either with Celotex or a purchased wrap. I think wood needs to breathe myself. OMF open or closed? Another contentious issue. In my experience warm air doesn’t fall downwards!

    1. David Post author

      Hello Dorothie

      I’ve written before a couple of times on insulation and ventilation. About 75% of my boxes are poly and I only overwinter in poly nucs these days. I’ve not noticed a difference in colony survival or spring strength between poly and cedar. All of the hives have insulation over the crownboard all year round – usually a 50 mm block of Celotex.

      I’m convinced that the bees don’t need or want ventilation over the cluster … if you have a crownboard with vents in it they usually fill them with propolis. Here’s what they do to the vents in an Abelo crownboard:

      Ventilation ... no thanks

      All my hives and nucs have open mesh floors and – other than when monitoring mite drop – they’re open. I’ve tried closing them once brood rearing starts in earnest – say mid/late February – to try and warm things up a bit but didn’t notice any difference.

      But … I’m only overwintering 20-30 colonies and the differences in survival between cedar and poly, or between ventilated or not, or open or closed floors etc would have to be really marked to be statistically relevant with that small number of boxes. I’ve almost certainly got some cedar boxes in apiaries now, and some empty poly in the shed, but I doubt I’d go to the trouble of switching them just so they’re in poly overwinter. I think colony health and strength are far more important.


      1. Dorothie Jones

        Thanks David. My hives at home are all poly and I do the same as you. They come through winter well and polynucs too, providing there’s enough bees and food.
        We have nearly all cedar hives at our club apiary and also only insulate the roofs these days.
        We get the odd loss but not many considering.
        Recently moved to quite a windy site so have fitted wooden covers over some of the omf floors. Maybe makes a difference but not entirely convinced1
        Def no top ventilation though (and that includes matchsticks under the crownboard!!!)

        1. David Post author

          Hi Dorothie

          I know some people who stand their hives (with OMF’s) on an empty super to provide a sort of ‘dead air’ space and to stop strong winds gusting up through the floor. I’ve no idea whether there’s evidence that this helps (as opposed to yet more anecdotes), or whether anyone has actually measured the reduced drafts in a hive on a super … perhaps it’s all just wishful thinking!

          And as for matchsticks … which are still being promoted in some associations … D’oh!


          1. Adam Darling

            I emailed the BBKA a few years ago and suggested that they add some extra fields in their winter loss survey to see once and for all whether insulated, non insulated or poly hives were better for winter survival. The questionairre duly came; it looked a bit muddled, but answers back from the BBKA? None. It was ignored.
            The survey would have been an excellent way of having a stastically large number of replies to give us beekeepers a once and for all answer about overwintering. My expectation is that the incidences of isolation starvation will be less with an insulated hive too.

          2. David Post author

            Hi Adam

            I suspect that more questions would just further devalue these types of surveys … what type of insulation? 100 mm of Kingspan or half a folded blanket in a super? How windy or exposed is the apiary? How strong were the colonies going into winter – a beginners “strong” colony is sometimes about the strength of a medium-sized nuc – and was the efficiency of miticide treatment measured (or just assumed to be good because there were lots of mites on the tray … perhaps there were lots left on the bees)?

            I think one of the large commercial bee farmers has stated that poly hives overwinter better and start brood rearing in spring faster, making them a wise investment. This at least is based upon sound financial grounds and thousands of hives (and hive years) experience.

            I think many cases of isolation starvation are nothing to do with insulation, but everything to do with lousy Varroa control. Someone should measure DWV levels in small colonies that overwinter successfully and those that die of ‘isolation starvation’ … I’d bet the latter were much higher.

            These surveys need some verification of the answers received to be of any real value.


  4. Adam Darling

    I still have my original Paynes butchered polynucs – with 8 frames. I have blocked up the odd original entrance, turned them around and used entrance disks instead. I hve a few others that I have acquired over time and have invested in a couple of new thicker roofs; although bees in either Maisies, Paynes or Thornes polynucs have always gotten through winter OK for me. (There has been ongoing comments about the thickness of the Paynes roof for some years). I do prefer the top feeder of others compared to the side compartment of the Paynes. My handful of Abelo Mini-plus nucs are also (just) big enough to get queens through without too much worry – although being on the East Coast of England, my winters are not as harsh as some.
    There is little nectar around me at the moment and steady feeding through August and September helps keep queens laying and ensure a good-sized colony going into winter. My view for winter feeding is that it’s more natural for the bees to feed steadily rather than someone dump a gallon or more of syrup on them at the very end of the season and the leave them to ripen it when they would usually be putting on their slippers* and preparing for a rest over winter.
    * Anthropomorphism (I love this word – the tendancy to attribute human practices to animals – particularly relevant to companion animals) is alive and well in Norfolk!

    1. David Post author

      Hi Adam

      I overwintered colonies in Paynes boxes 8-9 years ago … I built insulated ekes for them:

      Insulated eke

      That photo was from 2014. All were converted to 8-framers around 2014 and are now mainly used to capture bivouacked swarms in or as temporary accommodation for expanding nucs when I’m short of floors or broods or roofs. I have successfully overwintered queens in double-decker Kieler mini-nucs (when I lived further South) but not recently. Finally, I’m also a fan of slower feeding; I only use fondant and firmly believe that the bees take it down more slowly than syrup (and have less work to to when storing/ripening it) and so gives the queen opportunity to lay more for longer. I’ve done it like this for more than a decade and am convinced of the benefits … and expect to be handing out blocks of fondant to my colonies in about a week once I take off the non-existent summer honey 🙁 .


  5. Jeremy S Percy

    “You can see it sparkling in the sun.” Oh I do like a man with a sense of humour [monsoon here in Wiltshire].

    1. David Post author

      Hi Jeremy … even the presence of fresh nectar in the brood box is a bit of a joke this summer.

      Oh how we laughed … not 🙁



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