Re: How to get through the 1st year successfully
Out of curiosity did you feed your previous colonies to start out? It seems to me that not feeding packages and nucs (to a lesser extent) is a risk when they first start. It takes a lot of resources for a colony to get established, which accounts for the high mortality rate of swarms. So far I have grown to 8 hives (lost one) and am in my 3rd seasons and am tx free, but I slam the feed to them in the beginning. We will see how they do this year. As I understand it the 2-4 year is the hardest to survive, mite wise.
"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value." Thomas Paine