New beekeepers are frequently enamored with the concept of treatment free beekeeping. The following link provides a description of "treatment free" beekeeping. New beekeepers should be aware of several facts/requirements if they are to be successful with treatment free philospohy.
First the link:
1. Do not attempt to start treatment free beekeeping using package bees and queens. These bees are not adapted to our climate and they are from stock raised under a "treatment intensive" regime. In a few short words these bees are unlikely to survive without continued treatment or in our harsh winter conditions. Replacing your annual losses will be both financially and psychologically difficult.
2. Get local bees that have been raised in the treatment free regime for a number of years. They may cost more but will survive better than package bees. Or capture wild swarms; at least you know awild swarm has most likely survived at least one Wisconsin winter.
3. Be prepared for winter loss rates approaching 50% or more for the first several years.
4. Never replace your losses with package bees. Split your survivor colonies which have shown the ability to survive.