Re: Like what I have read about how Michael Bush manages his bees
Because the initial losses would be astronomical. What he does is the result of decades of experience and his bees are resistant to nearly everything.
Why doesn't everyone do it the way he practices.
It's a good path, but if you want to take it with your package of Italians, prepare for some heartbreak.
Your idea on collecting feral bees is, I believe, your best bet. That's what I have been doing...but I still have to treat for mites.
It works great. However, the best way is to stagger five undrawn frames between five drawn frames in a checkerboard pattern to get them to draw straight comb. Otherwise, they can do some wacky stuff with it.
Thinking of converting all these to foundationless by using popsicle sticks in the grooved bars. I want to see what others have to say about this.
Whenever you need to replace a frame or do a split, replace what you take away with foundationless. If you want to go all foundationless right now you can also replace drawn frames with foundationless frames at a slow rate, like maybe one or two a week. Do it in spring, though, they won't do anything with it this time of year.
How can I slowly convert my hive over while it has about 80% of the frames drawn now on plastic foundation?
Hopefully Michael or another treatment free guy will comment here and offer you some better advice.
Welcome to the addiction!
Try it. What could happen?