The bees knew winter was coming early, with almost all hives filling brood chambers with honey before the cold snap.

Though sadly, some apiaries have discovered willow aphids, and that honey will need to be taken off and replaced with sugar syrup if they are to survive the winter.

A couple of hives haven’t got the message though; several are still producing drones while the majority are booting the poor fellas out into the cold.

Also, the wasps have started with a vengeance in in my back yard. Considering they can fly at several degrees lower air temperature than the poor bees, it’s a bit of a slaughter each morning, even with the assistance of a wasp guard. Living in a town makes tracking the nests down nearly impossible.

While it’s not been the greatest season, as with all things in nature, it tests the skilful and weeds out the weak. Stay strong!

I do hope everyone can stay positive and healthy over winter, despite a subpar season this time round.

This photo was taken around 8 am on 8 April, with the temperature at about 8°C. The wasps were in full form, with five or six of them continually attacking my four hives L. Photo: Nick Thorp.

- Nick Thorp for the NCBC Team