Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?
I don't know about you, but I think this has been/is a good discussion!
As they say, all beekeeping is local, and perhaps that's one reason why the migratory beekeeper has such difficulty - they're not really "local." They must be able to cope with several different localities, each with it's attendant opportunities and difficulties.
Most of us understand that the mites are vectors for disease. Personally one of the things I look for when examining a hive, and esp. the entrance, is deformed wings. To me that is indicative something serious is going on inside my hive. My other concern is the build-up of chemicals inside the hive.
I suspected commercial beekeepers were trying many different routes to mite control, in addition to chemicals. Some (many?) of you are using mechanical means, instead of or in addition to chemicals. A couple of you have referenced the "o p" and "treatment free", but I don't care if you want to take this off in a tangent dealing with other issues related to mite control, and how to best do it successfully.
The thread has revealed at least one (Specialkayme, but I don't know if he's commercial or sideliner) has experimented with TF bees/queens, without success. (I really hope the B. Weaver trial works for you this year! - keep us posted?).
"If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow