If you read nothing else this month read "Reflections on the Honey Bee Health Summit" by Randy Oliver in the August Issue of American Bee Journal. I especially liked the part subtitled "The Evolution of Beekeeping".
When Randy wrote "And then in the winter of 2004/2005 a perfect storm of poor forage, miticide failure, and the varroa/virus complex caused large-scale colony collapse." I thought that pretty much illustrated my experience going from 732 colonies in May 2004 to 100 colonies in March 2005.
"Practical Application: it appears to me that our feral population of bees is finally rebounding from its decimation due to the invasion of varroa, and that the hobby beekeepers who are keeping feral/survivor stock are the first to be taking advantage of this event (rhis is not to discount the realitively few queen producers who are also breeding survivor stock.) Could it be that we are finally seeing the tide coming back in, and that we will be able someday to go back to the "semi-wild bee in the box" model of beekeeping? I sure hope so!"
"Beekeeping. It's a journey, not a destination." Mark Berninghausen