Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?
Originally Posted by David LaFerney
There is no simple answer to your question. It will be different in every place. In the following account I've restated your presuppositions, in order to supply a full picture. The difficulty is in quantifying your 'decent' and 'enough'. I don't suppose this account of the key factors is comprehensive, but I think it gives an idea of the problems involved in supplying a simple answer. I'm sure it could be better organised as well.
The key factors are: initial genetics, local genetics and breeding skills.
Roughly; if have have viable (self-sufficient) initial genetics, and you can preserve that self-sufficiency through effective breeding; you are in a great position
Whether you can preserve the key traits depends on:
a) The number of colonies you have
b) Your breeding skills
c) The background local genetics:
If you are surrounded by treating beekeepers your bees will be constantly downgraded, and you'll need to have good numbers, and keep dedicated drone hives to counter them. You will be less likely to have surviving ferals around you. You will have to establish a strong tf bridgehead and defend it hard. That will take good bee raising skills, including the ability to distinguish the key traits early.
If you are not, or, better, have a strong feral population, matters are entirely different.
I'd suggest making a three-way diagram, starting with an arrow indicating sound initial genetic input, and showing how these four key factors relate to one another.
This is best viewed as a 'new start' project. Changing a long established treated population over to tf is a different matter - but the same principles apply.
The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet