So you want to “START BEE-KEEPING”
It IS indispensable to find a local mentor or at least to have someone who you can call, when you panic about your new bees and have to make decisions on information you do not yet understand or have a overview of.
However, never forget that the beekeeper who is teaching the beginners course and your Local and even the National beekeeping association will have preferences in equipment and methods. These vary from preferences to fixations. Simultaneous with a local connection (which is indispensable), wide IN DEPTH reading in a variety of methods (and equipment) is essential. Try for a start – Ted Hooper “Guide to Bees & Honey” ; Michael Bush, http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm; Tim Rowe “Rose Hive Method”, “At the Hive Entrance” by H. STORCH* (should be compulsory reading); “The Buzz about Bees Biology of a Superorganism” by Tautz Jürgen; Dr. Keith S. Delaplane of the University of Georgia; Fedor Lazutin “Keeping Bees with a Smile”; Phil Chandler “The barefoot beekeeper”; Brother Adam, Rudolf Steiner; “The natural beekeeping trust” (though they are a little fixed in some of their views). If you really engage with the above and more views, methods and bee wisdom, you will start to understand bees and beekeeping.
It will be confusing to hear all these different views and methods however you will not become rigid in you methods and knowledge, so you can learn to listen to the bees themselves, they are always giving you hints on what to do.
Remember, our current understanding is never final, only best available at our current stage of development. Beware of being convinced by some “scientific argument”, science is often a disguised belief system. Science also needs to remember it’s accepted current understanding is never final, only best available at it’s current stage of development. Science is sometime completely blind and closed to experiences that cannot be proved with current instruments including the intellect conditioned by current understanding.
Regarding Varroa treatment or so called treatment free.
8 seasons ago, before we had any colonies, we tried to first learn how a colony operates. I don’t just mean how they make a new queen or what a drone does but how they make their bee bread, what bacterias are in a hive and the mechanisms they use to maintain their health. A couple years later I watched this video.
Beekeepers who try to control all illness, disease and even the bees must realise that 99% of the time we do not benefit the colony with our interference using …
*Here is a link to this wonderful booklet “At the Hive Entrance” by H. STORCH http://www.biobees.com/…/At%20the%20Hive%20Entrance.pdf