I'm still pretty new to the world of beekeeping, but recently BjornBee posted a response to a question regarding the treatment of bees in the fight against varroa. If you are curious of the content here's the link: http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=222857
I know this is an issue that has been debated ad nauseam, and there are as many ways to go about dealing with this issue (and schools of thought) as there are stars in the sky (ok, maybe that's a little over dramatic.) But Bjorn opened my eyes to the issue of treating bees and working with survivor stock...
I have 5 colonies. I treated with api life var and have been regressing to small cell. But the idea that api life var, or any treatment of bees, may enable the very diseases that threaten their existence, is real. We as beekeepers may be making it impossible for our bees to survive without our constant intervention. I'm worried that I might be traveling down a road I don't want to be on.
So, my question which is 2 parts, is this:
Is it possible for a hobby beekeeper, with only a few hives, to create the right kind of environment (enough drones/drone yard, what ever else) so that we can work with survivor stock and lay off the treatments?
For those of you who have experience working only with surviving stock ( I know BjornBee and Michael Palmer do this...) what would you suggest for a small time hobby beekeeper, to get started down this road?
I hope that this thread spurs some educational and helpful discussion.