October has been very mild, frequently wet with some wind but the bees could fly most days and there have been no very cold periods. Even today at the end of October the bees are still pulling in pollen! I have been feeding heavy syrup because one of the side effects of the oxalic vapor treatment, is that the bees seem to take up some of their stores after each treatment. So I have been pleased to get some more stores in. I have been keeping an eye on the long term forcast to make sure the weather is likely to be sufficiently warm for them to handle syrup.
At the beginning of October the varroa count had soared to a daily drop of around 100. Since then I have done a weekly oxalic vapour treatment and this at last seems to be working. Today I had a varroa count less than 20 and I anticipate this dropping even further. So the good news is that the almost certain demise of the colony appears to have been averted. The negative effects of varroa can be seen by the presence of at least a few bees with deformed wings. A virus often spread by varroa. Tommorrow will be my 4th and hopefully last treatment until early January. I will keep my fingers crossed that the mild weather will continue and allow fresh undamaged varroa free brood to emerge before winter sets in.