I'm not sure but, I didn't have any sign of varoa last fall, they did not starve, I didn't see any streaks of pooh on the hive front(so no disentary or nosema?), no foul brood. So I'm leaning towards Tracheal mites. Four of the dead outs were from my splits and were in two deeps full of honey, one was a last year split two deep and full, and the survivor was a three year old hive that I figured would not make it. I don't treat for mites and was trying the (out breed the mites method). It did not work out well for me, at least not this year.
No offense taken, I have been doing this for 45 years and in the last five or so all of the rules have changed. It used to be your biggest problem was where to sell all of the honey and not have to many swarms cause they got so big. Now it's a fight just to keep them alive. Frustrating to say the least.
i hear you there, bill. i've been trying to keep bees for 40 years myself. i joined beesource while bedridden due to a bad heart and cancer to try and pass along what little i think i know (hence my reply as if you were a beginner) and have learned more than i have passed along. good luck,mike
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