I've been back in Iowa for a number of days now. In mid-November I headed to the UK to do some work for my graduate degree, and then I had Christmas in Estonia and New Year's in Sweden. Below I have an image from the Irish farm where I looked at some letters in Jim Ryan's collection (he has a ton of information on the Irish Beekeepers' history). Today there are several inches of snow on the ground. It's hard to believe that in about a month it will be time to open up the hives again and give some of them a shot of syrup. I keep hoping most of them will live through the winter--mites were under control and we had great feeding weather in the fall. More young bees went into this winter than last winter. The Welcoming Christmas Tree on O'Connell St, Dublin This is the abandoned gate lodge at Jim Ryan's ancestral farm.