We just received the latest edition of Mehiläinen Magazine (The Finnish Beekeepers Magazine) and found out that - for the second year running - we were awarded a certificate of merit for our honey. One of only two beekeepers in our municipality (Raasepori) to get one.
The certificate is given to producers whose honey has remained stable and not shown any signs of deterioration since the harvest (six months ago). Of course we do occasionally get a jar which shows some signs of fermentation, but it is thankfully quite rare. Apparently, excess humidity before and during storage is the main cause of deterioration.
When we get our "diplomi" I'll take a pic and post it on here.
We checked the hives for damage and apart from a few minor attempts at intrusion, everything looked safe. Woodpeckers and mice are the worse enemies in winter. We found traces of both but nothing too worrying.
We had +10 C on the thermometer outside the kitchen window today and there were bees hovering over the hives. It's a bit of a worry: there is nothing for them to eat outside and they are burning up energy by going foraging. Should we feed them? I don't know. It's just not a good idea to open the hives in the middle of winter even if it is sunny outside...