Re: Mite count
Are you chemical treat free or will you treat if needed. With the small amount of manageable hives I would be ready with some drone combs / powdered sugar/ sticky boards to try and trap the early spring mites and allow the hives to come to full strength ahead of a warm weather infestation. I am three years chem treat free averaging 25 hives 90% wild caught local tree and barn hives / swarms I feed sugar water and try to monitor the best hives combine the weak ones or let them die out. If they get real high mite loads going by late summer I move the queen out to a small nuc and break the cycle if she shows good strength I might put her back if not, requeen from better hive.I can get this done because I have heavy local wild population to draw drones to my queens I can afford to freeze or just scrape and burn infested drone zones in my hives. I've been keeping a little over three years and draw my thoughts from working full time for a variety of comm. beekeepers and experiments with my own hives.
John Hargrave Northwest Missouri