I've been neglecting my bees. I can't believe it was all the way back in February I checked them and found that both colonies survived the winter, although one had suffered mouse damage. I bought new woodwork and made up 40 frames with wax. I rescued some old used equipment and disassembled it, cleaned it up, and put new wax in. I melted and filtered the old wax and I made up several litres of sugar syrup to feed the weak colony.
And then I ground to a halt. I never went back and put all these things in place. Why not? Well, sometimes the weather was poor, sometimes I was busy, sometimes I forgot. I know - pathetic isn't it?
I went to the apiary today and found that the mouse-weakened colony is dead. Totally gone. Cleaned out. I probably could have saved them if I had done all the things I meant to do. So it's my fault they died.
The other colony is fine. They're a bit under-strength for the time of year, but a lot of beekeepers are finding the same thing. They're showing no signs of swarming. I'm just going to let them be, and keep my eye on them to see if they build up in strength.
I'm going to go the the bees at least once a week. My plan is to go every Monday. If for some reason I can't go on Monday, I'll try again on Tuesday, Wednesday etc. Then I'll go again the next Monday. If I just can't manage to find time to do that, I'm going to sell them. It's what I'd do if I had a dog and I couldn't take care of it properly. I'm going to be a proper beekeeper or I'm going to quit.