As I feared the weaker of my two remaining hives hasn't survived. The bees that I saw going in and out three or four weeks back were just robbing the food left in the hive - some of them probably from my other hive, some from Ali's I'd guess. The single surviving hive seems pretty strong and when I took a peep at the brood chamber last weekend there was a lot of lovely, even capped brood. So perhaps it won't be a total washout this year. Meanwhile I've ordered two new colonies from my two bee-suppliers but both of them have had a bad winter (because of the horrible summer that preceded it) so I don't imagine they'll be willing to spare a colony for a couple of months or more. Good news today that the EU has decided to ban neonicotinoids for two years - presumably this means the UK must too.