First year beekeeper here. I live in garden zone 6b. I live smack dab in the middle of a city with a population of over 400,000, but am within our local ordinances with my hives. There are other beekeepers within a 5 mile radius that I know of. All of the years I have lived here, my organic landscape has always been abuzz with foraging honeybees and various other pollinators.
I have (2) 10 frame Langstroth hives - one has a nucleus colony of Caucasians with VSH bred into their line which I installed 5/3/19, the other was a package of Saskatraz that I installed on 4/27. I caused the Saskatraz to reject their queen only 9 days after she was freed from her cage. On discovering their queenlessness, I made a split into a 5 frame nuc with a few of the queen cells they had constructed, and left the rest of the queen cells in the 10 frame hive with about half the nurse bees. All of my frames have the Acorn plastic foundation. I re-queened the 10 frame hive with a mated Bee Weaver Queen last Thursday (I haven't even checked to make sure she's released yet, because the queen introduction sticky on this forum has set me firmly straight on my micro-managing of these poor bees), and I re-queened the 5 frame nuc with another mated Saskatraz queen last Friday...I just didn't have enough faith that my virgins would return successfully mated - I wanted to ensure going into my first winter with at least 2 hives.
I have fed with 1:1 sugar syrup, artificial pollen powder, and pollen patties in each hive top feeder since installing these colonies. I also have an open feeding station about 150' away from my hives with (2) wild bird waterers containing 1 tsp himilayan pink sea salt:1 qt water, a 3rd waterer containing plain water, and a 4th with 1:1 sugar syrup with a tsp of Honey B Healthy:1 qt water.
In the Caucasian colony, I've spotted deformed wings, and received the Oxalic Acid Vaporizer I ordered this week. I planned to treat at least 3x @ 5-7 days apart...These bees have displayed VSH behavior in uncapping pupae & rejecting it from the hive, and in my last inspection, I found a legless mite on one of my fingers.
In the 10 Frame Newly re-queened to ultra hygienic Bee Weaver hive, my Mentor showed me how to spot mites on the pull out tray under the screened bottom board, and we found 3 live mites on it a week and a half ago. So my plans were to treat this hive and the 5 frame nuc I split it into the same as the Caucasians.
Am I just setting my hives up for failure at battling diseases with all my "helping"? How does one decide to take the leap of faith from conventional to TF beekeeping? I need guidance on both sides of the issue. I have guidance on the treatment side; and I'm hoping some of you in this part of this forum may be willing to invest some time into educating me as to what you would do in my situation?