>> IPM seemed "impractical" to all of agriculture
>> at first
> Simple fact Jim, most of these organic controls
> are impractical solely due to the time involved
> in administration of the treatment.
Your misconstruing of "Integrated Pest
Management" as meaning (or having anything
to do with) "organic controls" is the essential
problem. You clearly haven't listened to your
own extension people, or read much of what
has been written about IPM, as you persist in
thinking that "IPM" is anything more than
diagnosing, so that treatments (regardless of
what sort of treatment is chosen) can be
appropriate. Its all about investing in
monitoring and record-keeping, and spending
the time and money to analyze the data.
But it is easier and cheaper to apply antibiotics
to each and every hive twice a year, regardless
of need than it is to come up with a more creative
approach that would entail something less than
100% treatment twice a year.
Its also easier and cheaper to melt comb and
recycle frames than to stop and think and realize
that the frames themselves might need some level
of decontamination before they go back into
another hive. Antibiotics treat the bees, but
don't kill spores in the nooks and crannies of
frames, do they?
Change your practices, and you'll find less AFB.
It might cut into your profits over the short
term, but the good news is that you will be able
to remain in business at all over the long term.