I guess I should really go through and do some alcohol washes and start keeping some decent records. I bought the cup thingy last Jan, but so far digging varroa out of brood (or looking at blown-up pics for phoretic) has been the extent of testing.Given how good you have gotten at queen rearing and propagating bees, it seems to me (strictly from the outside looking in) that you are in a good position to try a few experiments- though I won't fault you if you elect to take the prudent route.
If you're livelihood isn't dependent on it and you haven't grown emotionally attached to your TF bees, I say give it a go.
On queens, I finally got ahead of the demand and I'm deciding what to do with some beauties. Caught a few dark and tiger-striped from the mating nucs Fri as they were around 3 weeks and about to blow up the minis. So yes Russ, looking at it from that angle I have both extra equipment, and extra queens and a desire to know whether a race of bees can be bred to chew off mites, and keep down the viruses, .... for real, not marketing.
My brother's bees are rocking along without treatment, fair growth, etc. They usually swarm twice and go down to small numbers, take 2 months to recover, but they do recover. I have his swarm (virgin queen) from April 25 and she is blowing up a double deep. Pulled a split from her 3 weeks ago and dropped a new queen of mine in just to see if she could turn around the mite issue.
Apologies if that was all in my previous post. As far as $, my living is made elsewhere, although it has been satisfying being able to pay for bee stuff with bee stuff. God has blessed everything I've put my hand to, and I'm grateful. Life didn't always look this way, as pride came before several near-destructions. Again, grateful.
I will need about 8-10 large colonies next spring to support a starter and 2-3 good finishers with a couple for a ton of drones and some room for error. Plan to expand to 100 mating nucs. I guess I could treat my "keepers" and let the rest go, but I wouldn't have time for analysis until Dec. I have around 30 now (1/3 10-frame multiple boxes, 1/3 Lyson double 6-frame polys, 1/3 EZ Nucs). Planning to purchase 10 more Lysons to move the EZ Nucs into. Always graft from untreated survivors.?.? Don't care at all about honey (other than giving away). Yeah Bro, I guess I am in a good place to experiment, just no plan, obviously. Thank you my friend.