We do not treat any of our hives with miticides, antibiotics, or other medications. This prevents the buildup of chemical residues and promotes selection for a mite resistant strain of bees. We use a ‘Darwin’ approach to breeding selection and only breed from the strongest and most productive of the survivors.
Failing summer colonies are requeened or used as source of brood and stores rather than letting them die. Colonies that fail later in the season get weeded out over the winter. In your management of our bees please bear in mind that these bees are mite resistant, not mite proof. Some type of mite management will most often be needed to keep survival in most people’s acceptable range. In experiments, our bees generally have 10-20% winter loss when mites are managed by the drone brood trapping method. To us this is quite acceptable. You could also experiment with powdered sugar dusting or some of the ‘benign’ soft chemicals. We tried the sugar dusting for a season on a handful of colonies with good results, but have not experimented with any chemical treatments. As the resistance continues to strengthen we will keep posting survival rates with no treatment or management at all.