This is my first experience with bees. I was given 2 full hives from a local lady in early Nov 09'. I was very anxious and probably should have waited to move them but I did ( lost some bees)and also removed the top super of honey from each. I subsuquently put 6 of the frames I pulled off back and now I'm just tring to get them through the winter. They had not been tended too all year and were infested with shb,very few mites that I have seen so far. I collected a paper plate full of dead bees from the bottom screen board on the 15th of Jan and looked at evryone of them. I saw several mites but only about 13 of the bees had the deformed wings from the mite damage. That was from my strong hive. The weak hive to my surprise only about a hand full of bees and no sign of mites or the wing damage. Would like to talk with any beeks to learn as much about natural beekeeping as possible. I have lots of equipment and also a new topbar hive I built before I was given the 2 langs. willrich68@yahoo.com