Re: Treatment free queens
Having after midnight dreams? I'm not a queen breeder, but can assure you there are queens with the right traits to make it treatment free.
Carpenter apiaries sells queens with decent resistance.
BWeaver queens are fairly resistant if you can get past the stinging traits from africanized influence.
AdamF has queens with fairly good resistance.
Most beekeepers are not willing to make the changes required to successfully keep bees treatment free. They purchase 2 or 3 queens, keep them a year, find out they are heavily infested with mites, and conclude that it doesn't work. The problem is that they either have other colonies that are mite infested and require treatment or they have so many mite susceptible colonies in the area that their queens with mite resistance genes are overwhelmed by the influx of mites in autumn. It is necessary to switch to resistant genetics and do something about mite bombs that can overwhelm colonies.
I was able to go treatment free by first identifying a queen that had significant mite resistance then getting some Purvis queens to produce drones so I could raise queens and get reasonably pure mating. Once I had about 20 colonies established, I deliberately pushed them to swarm for a couple of years which got enough resistant genetics into the trees that they formed a buffer between my bees and the treated bees common in the area.
If you really want to try treatment free, set a goal of purchasing enough queens to make a difference. When those queens are established in your colonies, start working on the genetics in the area by getting neighboring beekeepers to use treatment free genetics. Consider pushing swarms into the trees like I did if that will help.
NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest