Spring has finally arrived here, the prunus is flowering, and all my hives are nicely regimented in the large and varied orchards that will - all being well - be their home for the future. I currently have 53 building, out of about 70 that went into winter. These are mostly 2014 swarms and nucs, but there are 10 that originated (as swarms or nucs) in 2013, and 2 from 2012. But queens may have been superceded in any of these - I don't track them. Some are my own bait-box fly-ins - that is, probably older queens from my own apiary.
All these bees originated as collected swarms and cut-outs, in many cases from well attested longstanding nests. None have ever been treated against mites in any way. They are survivors - so far anyway.
My plan for the coming year is to raise numbers strongly, drawing genes from what I think are the best of these. On the female side I'll use my version of scorecards. On the male side my plan is to run unlimited brood nests and let those that want to and can raise as many drones as they like. I'm dominating the area, although there are treated bees nearby.
I may also buy in some bred tf queens, and will continue to collect swarms and cut outs. But mostly the plan is to model nature pretty closely, let natural selection do its thing, and do my best to interfere only very carefully.