Re: treatment free beekeeping - the risks
sorry jb... but that analogy doesn't work for me, as the dog is incapable of housekeeping, which is apparently what the bees do to control the mites.
squarepeg, excellent points.
Also, if I had $350,000 invested in a bee business, I'd be darn well sure part of it was located in Florida so I could winter down there!
Seriously though, if I had that kind of money invested in a bee business, I'd set aside one of my apiaries as a test for treatment free bees. I'd run the test for about 5 years, and if it was a success (by that the bees survived, and produced honey, and expenses and labor were lower than treating)then slowly change all my bees over to treatment free bees. I would not be surprised if in a couple of years some commercial beekeepers don't do just that...some perhaps already are.
"If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow