Jonathan: Disappointing news. A break in the dreadful weather this afternoon – the wind dropped and the clouds thinned enough for us to convince ourselves it was a pleasant sunny afternoon. I’ve had no chance of inspecting the bee hives for three weeks or so, and with autumn advancing I didn’t want to miss this chance. Currently there are three hives, one with a good queen and doing very well, the other two artificially or naturally swarmed from that good colony. Unfortunately it seems neither of the two new queens appear to be fertile, as there is very little brood and even that is drone brood in worker cells. I think the swarming was too late in the year to get good mating weather, though the narrowness of the gene pool could well also be a factor. I now am sure I must find a reliable source of disease-free pure Apis Millifera Mellifera for early next spring or the whole venture is pretty well doomed.