Re: V. Mites, Chemical treatments, small cell.............what to believe?
rich, my .02 is also likely overpriced but,
sounds like you already have a considerable investment of time and money in your operation, and are about to get in even deeper.
as far as how 'responsible' you feel for keeping the bees healthy and free of pests that is one you will have to determine for yourself.
as far as how responsible you feel for making sure your operation doesn't become a source of diseases and pests to nearby colonies is also something will have to determine for yourself.
either way, if you were like i was, and put doing mite counts down towards the bottom of the list of things you have to do when getting into beekeeping, than my suggestion is moving it up the list.
without knowing exactly what is going on in your hives, it's hard to know how much or how little of a problem you have or don't have.
there are different methods of testing how infested your hives are, and the threshold for how much infestation requires action is not well established.
as you have read, there are many methods for dealing with infestations, that vary from doing nothing and letting the bees die, to using insecticides that will get in the wax and have the potential for getting in the honey.
it's probably one of the more brain racking decisions associatied with beekeeping, and the source of constant debate and strong disagreement on this forum.
if you haven't already, spend some time this winter on randy oliver's website scientificbeekeeping.com.
most if not all of what you need to know about varroa to make an informed decision you will find there.
beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf