Re: Committing or fence straddling???
Stay focussed on this aim. Promote bee numbers and comb, now, and work at making increase in a steady and controlled way. Aim to have as many as you can going into next winter. Any cobbled-together hives will do - you don't have to spend money on anything but frames. You want lots so you can lose the duffers without it mattering
Originally Posted by Brad Bee
Go to starter strips only.
Don't worry overmuch about varroa. What you don't want is too much varroa. If you decide you have to treat, treat just that one then stop it putting its genes into the next generation.
Try to mate well. Look to be away from treating hives/have large drone populations in your own hives/be near feral colonies. Look for mating sites - bearing in mind drones travel quite abit.
For now take daughter queens across the board - don't try to concentrate genes - because you haven't had time to make a serious assay.
You need lots of your own drones, so let some - or all - of your best hives build big (on free comb). So aim to make small mated colonies, protect them and help them to build. Small nucs going into winter will do great next year.
Your game is maintaining and raising resistance. Stay focused on that and work through all the things that make a difference.
Keep looking for more feral cut-outs, and assign strong values to well-attested long lived ones. Keep records.
If you're lucky you'll be be far enough away from treated drones, and have viable ferals around - and this will be easy. Those are the things that matter most!
The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet