Treatment-Free, Summer 2013, How's it going?
I'd like to hear from people who are managing at least part of their apiaries treatment free.
I'd like to know how many colonies your running treatment free, (and by that I mean in the truest sense - if you use some method of mite control please include it), and how long have the colonies been treatment free.
How are you doing overall?
For myself, I had 11 colonies as of last Fall, and I'm presently down to 6. I feel that one really has to maintain a larger number of colonies to be able to handle the dips. So I began rearing queens this season, and I hope to create additional colonies as nucs in July. At the moment, it really feels like reaching my goals with treatment free bees is not going to be easy. It's daunting, but I am still determined to stick with it.
I'm determined to figure it out; to keep trying things and approaches until I reach a sustainable population of bees without treatments. That, as opposed to "giving treatment free a try". I understand people taking that approach, but I feel like more of us have to commit ourselves to actually getting there, or it will never happen.
To quote Arthur C. Clarke:
"The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. "
I'm feeling somewhat discouraged at the moment, and I found Clarke's quote inspirational. I'm interested in hearing from others.