Success! On checking the hive with Alex on Thursday, to our delight on this sunny day the bees were flying around the entrance. This looks as if they have survived the winter and possibly in a few weeks time the queen will start laying her eggs again to bring the bees up to the strength, ready for their trips foraging for nectar and pollen.
I have started to dig up the old chicken enclosure ready to grass this area for the summer so as to be available for the new chickens in the following year. Here’s hoping the weather stabilises of the next few weeks so I can get more spade work in.