I started two KTBHs this summer which were part of my self-sufficient homesteading studies in Sweden. I looked after those hives until October, now they belong to the school. I will get updates though. Those colonies are ment to be treatment free and were not treated with anything else but kindness
I am building new top bar hives now and will start my very first apiary in May next year which is to be treatment free. I am not sure if I can afford to dirve far north of Sweden to buy the bees from Erik Österlund (I might get his Queens though) so there is a chance I will buy local treated bees. I am building a few bait hives too in hope to catch at least one swarm.
My hives have solid bottom so no way to monitor for Varroa except to open the hive and scrape out the bottom dirt and count. But I dont feel like doing this rather I will observe the colonies and breed only those showing good fitness.
My hive management will be as Les Crowder discribes in his book. I hope to get The Complete Idiot's Guide To Beekeeping for christmas.
I will focus on Live and Let Die approach and for that reason will try to breed new Queens and make splits.
I will buy two colonies to start with which I intend to split as soon they show signs of swarming. Or should I split them immediatelly when I get them home? This means 4 colonies but there will be more Queen Cells in the two origianl hives to make a few more nucs. I dont want to weaken those 4 hives much and dont know how many nucs should I go with.