Re: V. Mites, Chemical treatments, small cell.............what to believe?
Let's see, Michael Bush lost a lot of hives to varroa more than ten years ago, and since developing a treatment free plan, and acting on that plan, he ascribes losses to varroa as zero. I guess he has lost hives to other causes.
I have been treatment free for more than six years. No treatments for mites, don't even do mite counts. Don't worry about mites. My losses run between 0 and 15%. Do I have losses? Of course. Most are explainable to causes other than varroa. Have I lost any to varroa? Perhaps. Has varroa been a factor in my losses? Perhaps.
Now my question is, how many of you who treat, do mite counts, and alll that other stuff, have losses as low as Mike Bush or me? And there are others on the forum in like circumstances. If you want to buy weak bees, treat and test and do all that stuff you do, feel free to do so. Doesn't bother me. But don't sit there with your varroa and winter losses, and tell us we're doing it wrong.
My basic question for the original poster is, "Where did you get your nucs?" If they were bonafide treatment free, quit worrying. If they weren't bonafide treatment free, you'd better worry big time, because you WILL lose your bees. That has been demonstrated time and time again.
Now, I buy treatment free bees/queens, have been treatment free since returning to beekeeping, don't do mite counts, and keep my bees on a combination of large cell foundation and foundationless. I had my best honey harvest ever this year. Some hives netted 170 pounds of honey here in southeast Missouri. fwiw.
"If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow