hi there. i am not a regular user of the internet (outside of work) ... and the other thread i started was closed by the time i logged back in again. anyhow, just wanted to say thanks for the comments. at least now i know what temperature it is inside the brood nest because i kept reading different figures elsewhere.
also. it is easy to be seduced by natural beekeeping and there are some elements that appeal. i went into my hives without smoke at the weekend and they were calmer than they have ever been.
but ... from reading about natural beekeeping in books and blogs for a few weeks, i am heading back to square one and the whole Integrated Pest Management approach. i think its OK to play with ideas and see what emerges.
finally, i live in bristol, but my bees don't ... they live in the countryside.