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Just found this tread, and I am impressed with the experience and geographic representation in the TF arena.

As a previous poster mentioned, I am not sure I qualify as a TF beekeeper, but I am wrapping up my first year of treatment-free bee husbandry following a long absence post-varroa mite.

I started with two small-cell packages, caught two swarms and started two nucs. I know very little- but the one thing that this year taught me is that catching local swarms is the way to go.
 

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Just found this tread, and I am impressed with the experience and geographic representation in the TF arena.

As a previous poster mentioned, I am not sure I qualify as a TF beekeeper, but I am wrapping up my first year of treatment-free bee husbandry following a long absence post-varroa mite.

I started with two small-cell packages, caught two swarms and started two nucs. I know very little- but the one thing that this year taught me is that catching local swarms is the way to go.
Keep in mind the local swarm quality largely depends on the location.
In my locality the caught swarms are typically escaped commercial bees.
Hard to expect from them to be long-term chem-free survivors.

As for me, I pretty quickly ditched that "feral swarm" trapping - no feral swarms here.
I only chaise those swarms so to exploit them for different, useful things. :)
 

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GregV: Thank you for your helpful feedback. My limited perspective suggests that you are right concerning beekeeping being a lot like politics insofar that much of it is built upon local dynamics- what works in one environment may not translate to other areas. Again, thank you for the input and I sincerely hope that you and your family have a most joyous and blessed Christmas and prosperous New Year.
 

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GregV: Thank you for your helpful feedback. My limited perspective suggests that you are right concerning beekeeping being a lot like politics insofar that much of it is built upon local dynamics- what works in one environment may not translate to other areas. Again, thank you for the input and I sincerely hope that you and your family have a most joyous and blessed Christmas and prosperous New Year.
Good wishes to you as well, Litsinger!
Keep plugging at it.

One more suggestion and I will be done - do scout out fellow keepers with feral/mite resistant queens for sale (or exchange or even for free taking).
Then get few and try them out.
For my heavily commercialized location, this seems to be a way forward - bringing good genetics from the outside sources and getting the ball rolling that way. I am optimistic.
 

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Thank you, GregV. Good advice. I do appreciate your input. Part of my rationale for posting to this thread is to hopefully network with other TF beeks in my area to hopefully do just as you suggest. I do appreciate the help and encouragement.
 

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Just an update on my beekeeping experience. Wanted to stay TF but the loss of hives changed my mind for a few years. I thought switching back to treating for mites was the only answer. What I found out was my time management and time allowed for beekeepng was the real problem. Years ago my method for mite control was going to be OTS and what I found out is if you're not dedicated to putting in the time - at the proper time gap - that failure was very probable. Too many irons in the fire to do a good job with OTS. Also tuning up your Queen catching skills a must. Something most new beekeepers are not very good at. I've learned a lot since then.
Gong to start over with a new outlook on beekeeping. I'll try to keep anybody who's interested informed.
Have 12 hives out this winter. Hoping for the best
 

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Discussion Starter #187
great to hear back from you swarmhunter, and looking forward to hearing about your experience up there in iowa.
 

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Spent a few seasons treating for mites. Thought I had to. I'm back to doing what I want to -- TF
Will be cataloging my OTS through the season. I'll try to keep everybody informed
Jerry
 

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Well Greg, if my current bees survive another year or two TF, you are welcome to try some. Not far away at all.
 
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