Why is it that every study done on small cell shows that it has no beneficial effect on mite populations, yet so many on this forum promote it as though it does work, so much so that they change over all their large cell colonies to small cell and encourage others to do so. Please don't get me wrong in the way I am asking this, I'm on the fence with this issue myself. Since getting back into bees a few years ago I have gone completely foundationless with all my Langs and top bar hives, but my main reason for doing so was to let the bees do what is natural instead of encouraging them to build larger cell combs with foundation. I honestly wasn't doing it this way to reduce mite populations even though I realized at the time that many did it specifically to reduce the mite counts.
It just seems to me that many proponents of small cell go through much work going from large to small cell, including but not limited to using natural comb, even culling that out a couple times getting them regressed, installing large cell bees on 4.9 wax or similar plastic frames and having to cull out improperly built comb a couple times on the way to regression with that too, shaving down the plastic frames, shaving wood top and end bars down to get 1 1/4 spacing, and likely some other alterations I'm not familiar with yet or have forgotten about.
My question is, for those that have been on small cell either entirely, or having experimented with it for at least 3-4 years, "without any other treatments, strictly small cell", can you see a noticeable difference in their ability to co-exist with mites and still be what most would consider to be populous, productive colonies? Thanks. John