How was their operation "different"?
They did ANNUAL BEES. In the fall - they brushed the bees into boxes (he wasn't real specific here)...and shipped them back to California. In Spring - they installed new California bee packages on EQUIPMENT THAT HAD BEEN "DORMANT" and "FROZEN" for 4 or more months.
He said what this did - was BREAK THE CYCLE (mites) 'cause the queen's got a break in laying...and the equipment was FROZEN - so the good old cold weather - "cleansed" it.
MY IMMEDIATE THOUGHT was....could this really be SUSTAINABLE? how many packages can California produce????
MY SECOND THOUGHT WAS....i've got "overwintered" empty equipment now (that i've got a few years in). so - when (if) the hives make it out of winter....WHY NOT TAKE THOSE SMALLER qtys of bees....and MOVE/BRUSH THEM INTO THAT OVERWINTERED equipment???? kinda like installing your OWN PACKAGE???
THUS....I THINK THIS IS 2011's EXPERIMENT. another "plus" i see here is the opportunity to get some "old foundation" out of the mix.
this might be ok for me in my backyard beekeeping situation - LOTSA WORK - for a big operator!!!