I popped in to Paynes bee farm in mid-Sussex the other day to buy some frame parts. They are honey and equipment sellers who run about 500 hives across the south east of England. I got chatting to the friendly guy who runs the place. He told me that this winter his colony losses were about 2.5%. Amazingly low! I'm sure I've heard it said elsewhere that 30% is common and 20% relatively good. The Paynes guy did say his 2.5% was lower than most years. He attributed the low low loss rate to the dryness of the winter: although it was cold and snowy there was less rain and air moisture than is typical. I'm sure there was a healthy dollop of good beekeeping in there too! Well done Paynes!