"By supporting hives that would otherwise die, the beekeeper artificially subverts natural selection"
Beekeeping itself subverts natural selection. I am not sure I agree that differentiating one interference from another makes a difference. I have also seen it mentioned many places that treatment free is not simply putting bees in a hive and walking away. but that many other measures are taken. To me that is just handling the mites with alternative methods. That is not allowing natural selection to play it's roll any more than chemical treatments are. I have also seen the comments that say "I don't do anything for mites, I don't have them". But then neither do I according to my last inspection. But the colony that I cut out last March had them. pretty badly. three weeks later they didn't.
I do not agree that bees are weakened by treatments. The bees I treat are already infested. They where already weak. and that was true when the very first colony became infested. it had not been treated. so treatments are not the cause of susceptibility. Now keeping may be and I do have a strong suspicion that is true. So in all I keep a reserve of opinion that says treatment free may be barking up the right type of tree, but they need to find a bigger tree to do their barking at. I believe that beekeeping and imposing our goals and desires on the bee for centuries has lead to the bees we have today. We decided that africanized genes where bad. Bad for Who. us or the bees. How can selection fro what is good for the beekeeper result in good bees? So I see in all the picture is much broader than just mite management.