I had a lady drop in and buy honey last night. She was telling me her sister had decided to take up bee keeping. She bought several packages a couple years back. The lady was telling me her sis lost all the hives over winter the first yea. Her belief was she had decided to go treatment free and her bees came from a large package provider in the south and up to arriving the bees had been treated. The lack of treatment she believes is what done them in. I know it is hard to take bees that have been treated and switch to non treatment but I would venture to guess there was other reasons for the losses. From what I have seen and read in package bees its the 2nd and 3rd years you have the heavy losses due to the mite takes a couple of seasons to get the upper hand on the new hive. Anyhow where I seen her mistake that unfortunatly led to her not getting more bees is. She tried to go it alone relying only on the advice of the bee supplie house she ordered her bees from. Going treatment free tells me she didnt listen to there advise either. Until she called them told them her bees was gone and they probly said see I told you you had to treat the bees.