I have been keeping honeybees since 2011. I started with 5 hive I bought from a local beekeeper. I went treatment-free soon after I had them. Only on some occasions I used lemongrass essential oil as a prevention method to control Varoa. Overall, I haven't seen a lot of Varoa mites in my hives; however, most of them succumb or fail by November each year. Therefore, I had to buy a few more to keep the number. I am also using foundationless frames to get clean wax and natural cell. Of all my hives from 2011 and treatment-free, just one survived so far and is doing excellent, although it superseded early in Spring this year. Currently, I have a small nuc that I got from a supercedure queen cell this Spring and is marginal. In addition, I have two other colonies that were doing excellent just a few months ago, but now are failing, I don't know why. They might not survive at all. I don't see a lot of mites either and they were well nurtured. My question is: For how long should this situation perpetuate and me not being able to exit this critical point of not advancing?I've never had more than 4 hives in Spring with all my effort, although my goal was honey not bees. I've never had a honey crop either, although I've wished a lot and there is lots of foraging around here. I am a little disappointed but I won't give up because I love bees. I am also committed to treatment-free beekeeping no matter what. I understand, I am not experienced enough and I have made many mistakes. However, I know the basics and I want a little success as well. Is there any plausible formula to redressing such a situation? Thanks everyone for any suggestions.