Full disclosure - I'm not treatment free, but I applaud anyone and everyone who has established a successful treatment free apiary. Seriously I do.
But, I would suspect that everyone who has done it would agree with a few principles:
- Treatment free does not mean doing nothing and hoping for the best.
- Treatment free requires at least as much understanding of bee keeping as any other philosophy - so educate yourself.
- If you start out with a couple of generic packages from Georgia, and don't check and don't prepare for any contingencies you probably will not be successful as a treatment free bee keeper.
- If you replace your dead outs with generic packages from Georgia every spring you probably won't ever become successful as a treatment free bee keeper.
Maybe I am wrong about some of these - and I welcome constructive input. The reason I am even bringing it up is that I get quite a few contacts via our local bee keepers association from new bee keepers who of course want to be treatment free - of course they want that, who wouldn't? But they don't understand these basic points of the pursuit. That is on them of course, it should be obvious that everyone needs to educate themselves about their chosen path. But for some reason a common take away from the treatment free internet community is that all you have to do is not treat and all your dreams will come true.
I just wish that all of the proponents would make it painfully true that at least at first - treatment free is not easy.
Or am I wrong?
Again - not hacking on the whole treatment free thing. I'll probably give it a go myself one day when I think I have achieved a sufficient state of Zen.
I almost forgot - Step 1 to becoming a treatment free bee keeper - learn to be a bee keeper.