December is here and we are enjoying bright, crisp days. Lots of frosty mornings, brilliant blue skies and sunshine, although the wind carries a significant chill factor. The bees aren't that thrilled as they can't fly in low temperatures. They stay huddled in the hive throughout the winter, only emerging to forage (and poo!) on exceptionally warm days. It's our duty to ensure they have enough food to last them until Spring, so each week I top up the feeder in each hive with either diluted honey or sugar syrup. Of course if we hadn't pinched most of their honey at the end of summer, this lack of food wouldn't be an issue! The bees take the syrup and store it close to the winter cluster - it's a bit like having a stash of sweeties under your bed, so you don't have to move too far to get a snack. Keeping them well-fed means that they will survive the winter and have a headstart in February/March when the queens will recommence laying eggs and the colony will grow in size. Foraging for supplies is hard work, so if they have plentiful stores already life won't be too tough for them. At Christmas they'll receive a special gift of candy too - a block of fondant sugar to give them an even bigger boost. It's a good job bees don't have teeth as they'd all be rotten on this diet!