Post here for Top Bar, Warre, Observation hives as well as Treatment Free and Natural Beekeeping in New Zeland.
Note: If possible, beginner beekeepers are encouraged to learn about keeping bees first using standard equipment, before migrating to alternative methods - it can save a lot of heartache in the long run
@tom sayn that is a bold statement. From my own experience, I had to treat my Italian Closed Population at least twice per year, and once I transitioned over to a carnica type bee, I have only ever had to treat once. On brood area characteristics alone, it only makes sense that varroa would reproduce more slowly in carnica than in Italians. My carnica population is usually broodless by the end of April, so for the next 2 months the varroa that are there have no where to hide, and usually succumb to grooming, and being the backs of bees makes varroa treatments more effective. With Italian type bees, you have significant brood areas right through the year. I believe Italians are mite magnets, and mites load into yellow colonies at a much higher rate then they do into carnica colonies. Aside from varroa tolerance, the amount of sugar I fed was cut in half with carnica, and with carnica, I have never even seen one cell of chalkbrood, and almost never see sacbrood, and if EFB, heaven forbid, ever does show up here, then you may have to change your opinion on carnica, because without a doubt, carnica are more resistant to EFB than Italians. Antibiotics or carnica, that may be tough call for some of you guys!
As for your observations, the carni's you are talking about would have naturally mated production Queens heading them, and they would be hybrid colonies- the carnica Queens would have more likely mated yellow, and the yellow Queens would have more likely mated carniolan. So with hybrid colonies on both sides, you're right, there wouldn't have been a lot in it treatment wise.