as we have seen from several recent posts, one of the bigger challenges for those desiring to be treatment free is that tf stock is not always available for purchase.
we also see the many reports of limited success when beekeepers, beginners in particular, attempt to withdraw treatments cold turkey from colonies that come with a history of being treated.
the original intent of the 'treatment-free beekeeping' subforum is outlined in the forum description on the page listing all of the forums, and reads:
"Discussing and formulating honeybee management methods that cooperate as much as possible with natural bee biology without resorting to the use of chemicals and drugs."
when the 'unique forum rules' for the tf subforum were drafted and adopted, the definition of treatment was presented more specifically as:
"Treatment: A substance introduced by the beekeeper into the hive with the intent of killing, repelling, or inhibiting a pest or disease afflicting the bees."
so the bar appeared to be raised from 'chemicals and drugs' to any 'substance introduced by the beekeeper' to include powdered sugar and honey bee healthy as examples.
also drafted into the unique forum rules was the important caveat that discussing the use of treatments was acceptable in the context of being:
"employed as part of a plan in becoming treatment free."
...which brings me back to my purpose for starting this thread. it's about having a discussion about how folks transition from readily available nonresistant stock to bees that are much less or not at all dependent on interventions. it gets to the intent of formulating methods as laid out in the original description of the subforum.
just like we have various definitions of 'treatment' that are out there, i find that ipm is described in different ways depending where you look. the basic idea is that effective monitoring is used and interventions are approached in such a way as to employ the least invasive methods necessary to get the job done, with the ultimate goal of arriving at a management scheme where very little or no intervention is necessary.
it is my hope that folks like jrg13, astrobee, ruthiesbees, and others will find it within their comfort zone to share with us here the approaches they have been using as a means to this end, and that those who are looking for a path from starting with treated bees to becoming treatment free will be helped by the discussion.