I began learning about, and observing bees when I was 8 years old from several of our, then local, commercial beekeepers in Lompoc, California, who were kind enough and patient enough, to tutor me a little, and let me watch them work their bees. When I was 10 years old I obtained my own colony of honeybees and I've been keeping honeybees ever since. I've kept bees in many different climates, all over the United States of America.
Though I've listened carefully to the prevailing views concerning various treatments for diseases, pests, and parasites I've never tried them. My bees were always vigorous and appeared healthy --- I've never lost a single colony. The saying, "Why fix what isn't broken?" often comes to mind. Sometimes I began to accept the logic of those advocating treatments, but I figured that I'd want to harvest some honey one day and the thought of even a trace of any "treatments" being included, put me off of the treatment idea. I always told myself that I could try the "treatments" if it appeared that the bees needed them. They never have.
For those that use the various treatments, I wish them success. I have chosen to avoid treatments. If someday my methods fail me, I will miss having bees. But I don't think I will ever stop trying to keep bees. There are many different management techniques employed by different beekeepers in different climates and countries around the world. Perhaps if we could precisely immitate the management techniques of a successful beekeeper in our own local areas, we might experience similar success, but maybe not.
When I offer advice, it is from my own personal experience, not from any book. I must give the disclaimer that in my climate and circumstances, with my bees, these are simply the experiences and the observations that I have had, and my reasons for what I do.
I love watching the bees and what they do, inside the hive, and out. Harvesting anything from them is just, icing on the cake.