Re: New beekeeper seeking some info on treatment free
I will try to answer this for you. Basically you are correct, you want to have bees that will tolerate, and produce, with disease and pests. However you are unlikely to find tolerant bees in the general population. I would start by trying to find treatment free genetics that are locally adapted, but that can be difficult or impossible. You can always try to capture swarms or do bee removals, but it is a gamble that you will get survivor bees since it is possible or likely that they are straight out of someone else's hive. As a second option I would find treatment free bees from a climate that is as close to yours as possible.
Once you find the bees you want, start with multiple hives and I would say the more the better. I would suggest going small cell or foundationless, I do not know if it helps, but I doubt it hurts and may help. Prepare for failure, I have lost 7/8 this winter (my third), but perhaps you will be more fortunate. Raising your own queens is likely to be very beneficial as is unitizing over winter nucs to make up for losses.
This is in addition to a base of solid beekeeping knowledge, experiences and practices. I hope that helps.
Last edited by RiodeLobo; 04-03-2013 at 02:28 PM.
Reason: Last line's intention was unclear.
Dan Hayden 5 Years. 10 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.