Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions
I think your post here indiactes one of your main problems - you are inexperienced. As several posters have indicated, making increase as rapidly as possible from your best genetics is essential. That allows some losses without catastrophic failure, and with a little luck you can build year on year, learning as you go. You must learn to think and act as a breeder - raisning resistance traits is about having enough bees to be able to select the strongest and making increase/requeening weaker hives. Making sure you have sound selection procedures, and that you're not accidentally treating or manipulating in ways that throw your assays off.
Originally Posted by whalers
Unless you are very lucky with location you'll probably struggle with just a few hives. You're clearly not getting the genetics you need, so keep looking.
If you're near treating beekeepers you'll have to work hard at this - and at keeping their genetics out. Aim to build up an apiary capable of dominating the drone space.
Its not just a case of making a switch - you have to learn and work and plan - unless you are one of the lucky ones with thriving local survivors. Despite what you read here they do exist. But their methods are not universally applicable.
The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet