Re: Mites and winter
Queens normally stop laying sometime in November and take a break. How long they stop is genetic, Carniolans tend to take a 6 to 8 week break where Italians only take 2 or 3 weeks. My highly mite tolerant bees took a break from the 1st of December until the first of February. This is long enough to have an impact on varroa population. I would definitely talk to them about options for going treatment free and emphasize that longer winter breaks are helpful. It would be more important IMO to discuss with them options for obtaining bees that have already been selected for mite tolerance.
NW Alabama, 46 years, 24 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest