This was our 4th year as beekeepers and, although we still have lots to learn, we are beginning to feel more confident and able to take action without having to check the books all the time. In other words, we have a bit of experience now and its getting easier. This was also our best year in many other ways:
* most honey - 350 jars from our 6 hives
* least number or lost swarms (we had 3 but caught them all)
Our only real problem this year was wasps which where so prolific that they caused one hive to dwindle to a non-viable scale. We started the year with 3 hives and ended with 5 - having merged two after the wasp attacks- and now they are all fed and shut up for winter with the mouse guards on.
Normally I miss the regular hive visits during winter and worry how they are doing but this year I feel quite happy to have the time for other activities and am a bit more certain the bees are fine.