We have made one resolution for this year - the queen must die. Against the advice of the old pros in the LBKA, we didn't kill HRH last year. She had come to us the year before as a virgin (we named her Bess) and the thought of squashing her didn't appeal. One year on things feel different. We seem to have very swarmy bees and our original monarch decamped with half the colony while we weren't looking. We had been dutifully destroying queen cells as we found them, but one must have escaped notice, and then another. I think the new queens are poor layers - perhaps they weren't fed royal jelly from the start? Anyway we are going to order 2 new sovereigns in the spring, all spunked up and ready to lay eggs. The real difficulty is going to be in finding the old ones. We searched several times unsuccessfully over the summer - another reason I think they are runts - so they are still unmarked. Meanwhile I've got a pamphlet on mead making and I'm going to have a go with some of this year's taking.