i have been thinking about what the most important things are for giving managed bees a fighting chance.
in order of importance, and subject to debate, i believe they are:
1. trouble shooting (maintain queenrightness, prevent starvation, deal with diseases and pests in the earliest practical stage, avoid preventable collapses, avoid spread of contamination)
2. location, habitat, ecosystem, environment, or whatever term you prefer, that determines the quantity and quality of the bee's forage. (bees are what they eat, an no genetics or beekeeper skill can make up for lack of proper nutrition)
3. great queen (assuming #1 is in play, the vigor of the colony is basically 'defined' by her)
4. balanced intervention (basically providing sound shelter, hive placement, and manipulating cavity size in harmony with the yearly cycle)
i'm not stuck on any of this. any thoughts?