Yes, I had heard that and alluded to it in my post. I think the winters have suddenly got alot harsher here, but the summers seem as warm. The rest of Europe does have freak extremes too, but then so does the rest of the world...is it that they are better reported upon than ten years ago or actually increasing in incidence, I don't know.
All I can say here is that to try and offset our carbon footprints, the government is taxing larger car engines more, encouraging the uptake of solar/wind energy on small scale projects, and making people recycle more, which will take some doing especially when you see the mess left at pop concerts/festivals and on trains, let alone at home.
And what does this have in store for my bees ? well, there are some figures that suggest we have 30-40% more beekeepers in the UK than 2 years ago, and the demand for my honey locally is very high...long may it continue !
I continued making up hive bodies, brood frames and supers today in readiness for the spring.....roll on the first honey flow !!