> In order to give this treatment a thorough evaluation I feel it must
> be tested in different regions and in different apiaries. It must be
> tested side by side with control hives (non-treatment or other
> treatment hives). The method of setting up an apiary to test a
> treatment can be debated but a significant reduction in varroa must
> be shown between treatment and non-treatment hives in the same apiary.
<snip>
> The bottom line, however, is that it doesn't matter. If a technique
> works, a theory for why it works is not necessary and can be
> generated at some later point.


Peter -


We all need to hear what you just said. The discussion we are having on
small cell size in relation to being an effective method for mite treatment
at the very least, is good. Everyone is expressing their own feeling about
the subject but many times I read remarks that show very little to no
reading of existing information on this topic has been done, even though
it's readily available for all on the web.


This technique of keeping bees on 4.9mm cells is working as the Lusby's are
living proof. You can debate why it's working but not the fact that "it" is
working and has been for quite a few years with their production growing
every year. I find it to be such a common practice among certain people on
this list to always want to find the fault with something or someone instead
of whatever good can be found. The FACT is that the Lusby's themselves state
right in the article that all can read, if only they would do it, I quote:


"This shows breeding is not all the solution. We figure comb is 1/3, diet is
1/3 and breeding is 1/3. Comb must be put in by half (5) to full boxes to
work."

http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/abjdec1997.htm


I get the feeling that most people think all you need to do is throw a bunch
of 4.9 foundation in their hives and the mites will disappear. No where in
all the info that is posted about the Lusby's work is a claim made that 4.9
cell size will rid a hive of mites, no where. Yet a lot of people are using
this assumption in their reasoning. Broad statements are made where finer
details need to be understood. The mites are still in their hives but at
extremely low levels. They also feel that by having their bees on a natural
size that has no chemical residues in the wax or honey, (go and read the
literature for their definition of natural) gives the bee a better standing
to deal with secondary diseases.


This same article shows that "a significant reduction in varroa must be
shown between treatment and non-treatment hives in the same apiary."


I quote from it:


"On 11 September Dr. Eric H. Erickson, the director of the Carl Hayden Bee
Research Facility in Tucson, Arizona, went with us to two bee locations, in
unisolated areas, to test for both tracheal mites and Varroa mites. Samples
taken in the center of the brood nest also contained drones where possible.
We choose unisolated locations because we wanted to show him, to beat the
problem, one must be able to accomplish business as normal in doing bee
management within the field. Please note that beekeepers around us have
severely lost bees, as we ourselves have, to both mites over the years. When
taken, several adjacent yards within 2 miles were being treated, crashing,
or being fed to keep them alive. Our bees were building; and at the Carmen
yard were very fast drawing new foundation."


Granted, this is not a "controlled" study, but enough there to warrant a
scientific research with further studies on small cell size. Let's start
putting our energy into soliciting Dadant to produce 4.9 foundation and our
scientists (logically this should be Dr Erickson) to pick up the research on
this again. As someone else wrote, let's put up or shut up. If both of these
contacts received sincere requests of those mentioned, I'll bet wheels would
turn. They won't if all they hear is silence. I challenge everyone to act.


Regards,
Barry