Well its late November and the cold weather has begun, with several frosts. The recent mild weather has meant that I was able to complete my Varroa treatment ( oxalic acid vapour ) and bring the hive back into a reasonable state. The bees were even taking heavy syrup until late October.
Because the hive was in danger of imminent collapse, I carried out 6 oxalic acid varroa treatments, 5 days apart starting in early October. This covered two mite generations. The net result is that the Varroa drop count is down to 1-2 per day on average and the bees had some mild weather to help raise healthy winter bees. All signs of deformed wing virus have disappeared.
The mouse-guards are on, syrup removed ( replaced with dry-sugar ) and all I can do now is keep my fingers crossed that this first hive will survive over the winter. I was pleased to note that the placement of the hive means that the early morning sun gives the hive a nice warm bath of light. That must be a relief for the bees after a freezing night! And more importantly, gives them an opportunity to move the cluster or get in some supplies from neighbouring comb!