Re: No sugar starts
I believe it was Tom Seeley who studied feral swarm survival in the late 1960s. He found that only 25% survived until the following spring. And this was in the days before varroa! Building a nest, producing a sufficient foraging force to provision the nest from scratch proves to be a daunting task.
Supplementing the incoming carbohydrates for the first season improves their odds substantially.
So, I think the question becomes are you willing to accept the extra losses?
Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson