Well, our bees didn't survive the winter after all. They expired sometime between January 17th and the end of February. I suspect their numbers were not great enough to generate the necessary warmth. The queen was not a good layer and it was still quite a small colony in the autumn so I left them all the honey they had made and put in an extra dummy board to decrease the area that they would need to warm. Maybe in a normal winter they would have managed. Anyway, we weren't the only ones. I'm cleaning the hive, putting in fresh brood foundation and getting my name on a list for a swarm.
Meanwhile there is some bee-inspired art to see at the Contemporary Applied Arts. (sample below)