Re: Am I a middle of the road treater? or a treater?
you are a 'beekeeper'.
the compulsion to identify with one camp or the other is a peculiarity of this forum, brought on in part by the establishment of the 'unique forum rules' attached to the tf subforum, which apparently go beyond laying down the ground work for an informed discussion and have effectively become the standard by which one is to be 'defined'.
it sounds to me glen like you are a rational and conscientious individual in the beginning stages of learning how to keep bees alive and productive in a managed setting. good for you!
i am for the most part a self-thinking nonconformist (squarepeg) and i have rejected the arbitrary either/or distinction that some have bought into here. the most useful thing that has come about by having this dividing line is that it makes for plentiful forum fodder, keeping the site active, and giving those who enjoy or need a chance to vent.
if you are looking for advice on how to label yourself, my advice would be don't worry about it.
if you are looking for advice on how to keep your bees alive using the least invasive methods possible, there are plenty of folks of like mind that can help you in that regard.
in the end the decisions are yours to make, and there are trade-offs and compromises involved. beekeeping is one big experiment, and you will have to learn by trial and error. for me, this is what i enjoy most about it.
journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives