Thanks for the post Kamon! Seems we practice some similar methods.
Joe D; no need to purchase drone comb, just remove those drone filled frames found in the early Spring. Sure you'll also loose some worker brood too, but they'll build back up quick. The objective as Kamon points out is to break the mite cycle. Just remove one or two frames (replace with empties, leave no voids), those with the most drone brood, freeze them for a couple days, thaw them out and put them back in. Your bees will feast on the protein and your queen will fill the cells again once cleaned up and your varroa count will be lessoned considerably.
Since 2007 I've purchased 'treatment free' bees from BeeWeaver. My current living colonies are all BeeWeaver survivors.
The one time since 2007 that I bought' treated' bees…they all died before Spring (I did not treat). They also brought a varroa explosion to my yard. Before the treated bees arrived I had minimal varroa issues. After I introduced them I had issues for 2-3 years, which has since leveled off thankfully.
I also agree with regular splitting, or artificially creating a perceived swarm to interrupt the mite cycle (the Q-less half of the split usually creates the best "comb" honey), but generally stop splitting by July 4th or so (our first killing frost comes by end of September).
Honey has never been our primary objective….yet we seem to harvest more than we can ever use…….
Our honey loving friends and family LOVE us
…..and I also agree….there's real $$$ (and less fussing) in selling hardy 'local' Queens and/or NUCs…..