Much to my satisfaction a small cast (not a full swarm) of honey bees took up residence in an old hive I had sitting in my back garden in June this year.
It was so small I had little hopes of it surviving through the winter but I fed them artificially anyway to help build up the colony.
The last few days have been horrendously wet and temperatures dipped quite a bit but I was really pleased today to see the bees on the wing. They are doing more than taking a cleansing flight as is normal on a mild winters day but they are actually foraging.
I managed to get a few rather poor pics of some of them returning to the hive with their pollen sacks full. Where are they getting pollen at this time of year is my question.
The fact that they are bringing in pollen suggests to me that the queen is still laying and there is live brood in the hive.
I wonder will they make it through after all. I hope so.