I am a first year beekeeper. I am foundationless and my bees are from Ray Olivarez 2 lb that I picked up from a beekeeping club. I believe I have excellent forage in my area. I installed two hives in late april. I felt absolutely horrible installing them in the cold weather and watched a significant portion die...many stung me. Hive number one has kicked butt and hit 6 medium boxes at early july...not much progress has been made since then. Hive number 2 swarmed...I think it was my own negligence as I never knew it was going to happen. The plus side is that I now have three hives. Hive 3 is iffy, and I might have to feed them for the third time with my hive top feeder tomorrow.
I expect death. My survival plan is to make spits next year and boost to 6 hives. Expansion hopefully beating the loss.
The first book I read was Beekeeping for dummies. A great book, except the fact that it horrified me. I honestly don't know how beekeepers can go on thinking things are fine as they are. Treating my bees year after year sometimes twice a year? Are you crazy? This is awful!
Then I read Michael Bush's book on beekeeping, a great hopeful feeling read until I realize he really doesn't remark upon the plight of new beekeepers. Sure his philosophy is great but the fact of the matter is that any new beekeeper who follows his ideas could meet absolute bitter defeat. Add on the fact that there are beekeepers who make claims like "yeah I was worried about bee disease, and then I switched to 4.9mm."
Solomon parker, one of the patrons of treatment free has made disparaging remarks of some sensible beekeepers like Randy Oliver! Randy Oliver, Someone who appears as a rock of commonsense among a sea of overreaction.
What am I supposed to do as a new beekeeper. I absolutely don't want to treat, but I feel as if I'm being sold something that isn't true. Is there anyone else who maneuvered out from what I'm feeling like?