I'd like to share my experience. Started with 2 hives 2010 and treated them with formic and all the usual treatments and got 80lbs honey. Next year split to 4 hives treated in the spring with tactic. No other treatments. Thinking about going treatment free. Worried about losses. Only got 80 lbs honey. Spring 2012 all four hives bombers split to 8 treated all hives with formic. No other treatments. Got about 90 lbs honey. Disaster strikes lost 4 before the end of October. Lost the other four before the end of January. Decided to go treatment free. And bought 16 packages 2013 also bought old nasty used comb lots of disease likely hanging around in the comb. Fed each package 2 frames of honey and 1 frame of pollen. Also fed 2 gallons healthy bee formula to build their immune system. The rest drawn comb. In May split 4 of the packages and caught 1 swarm got 540 lbs of honey fed 2 more gallons of healthy bee formula. Home recipe using some essential oils. I don't consider this a treatment because it is only to stimulate the bees own immune system. One of the packages died after trying to supercede several times i have 16 strong hives going in to winter and four that might die. All in all i think it takes no time at all to be successful. As long as you know what to look for and how to do the shook swarm method for controlling all your different diseases i used the shook swarm method on three hives two built back up and are strong enough for winter. Planning on splitting up to 40 or so next year. I have been breaking even every year so far. I believe due to cost of increase. But i expect to be in full production with 400 hives in just 5 years from the time i went treatment free. I inspect my hives at least every 14 days.

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