Mr. Bush wrote:
There were not survivors to breed from when I went to small cell with commercial stock. There were no losses to Varroa after I regressed even with commercial stock. The model that small cell beekeepers are breeding from survivors, and, in this scenario, breeding from smaller bees just isn't consistent with my experience. It's a nice theory if you assume small cell beekeepers all have big losses and that genetics is the key. But many of us did not have significant losses and were using commercial stock.
I agree with your conclusions, my hypothesis does not fit your observations. the real test would be to now go back to regular sized cells with a few hives, and see how they compare to your small cell hives. If the genetics are comparable in both groups, you will prove me wrong if the large cell hives fail.