Rachel Bruce and I completed the check today. I had been feeding the bees for 10 days and we put the 10th pound of sugar solution on today. They are certainly taking it well, we were surprised as we thought the sedum roof would have supplied them with plenty of forage but as Joseph said last week, the bees haven't read the instruction book! Anyway they had been putting the syrup down as stores and are well on their way to a decent winter larder. We saw the queen and lots of brood but no eggs. They aren't drawing out much comb so we moved some foundation further into the nest in the hope they will start to draw it out, it was the same last year and they did it eventually. The varroa check did turn up a fall of 8 which isn't good after only a week or so after the treatment. We may need to put on a dose of oxalic acid later in the season.
I completed a test for Nosema during the week but could not see any spores. Its a form of dysentery which cannot be treated but can be handled. The test involves looking at the contents of bees abdomens under a microscope, its not pleasant but at least we can hopefully rule it out as a potential problem in the spring. http://www.bee-craft.com/expert-beekeeping/nosema-disease/