Re: Something needs to change - looking for suggestions
Use the word "purist" and POV=Point of View meaning that a purist insists on absolute purity.
Barry:Call it a treatment, that's fine by me. I think that's a purest pov.
Mike:I don't know what that means, and I would like to know.
In this context, the natural size of honeybee cells is about 4.9. Starting just over 100 years ago, foundation mills were made larger up to 5.7 though most are in the 5.3 range. The result was larger bees and over time, the larger bees became a genetic variant. Going back to 4.9 which is natural for bees, in my opinion, is not a treatment. It is removing an artificial prop introduced by beekeepers in an effort to breed a larger honeybee. For similar reasons, I use 11 frames in the broodnest because this is the natural spacing that bees make combs on their own. So I am on both 4.9 foundation in the broodnest and using 11 frames at 31mm (1.25 inches). I do not see this as an artificial prop, it is just going back to what bees were before man started monkeying around. Add in the factor that I have several colonies on 5.3 foundation with 10 frames and they are thriving just as much as the small cell bees. You will conclude like I did that the source of mite tolerance is primarily genetic.
NW Alabama, 46 years, 24 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest