>The mites prefer drones, and a new natural method of control is to introduce foundation sized for drones, and then remove and destroy it, therby lowering the colony mite population. Try it on purpose, you seem to have the perfect hive to experiment with. Good luck!
This is a top bar hive, so I don't know how to induce drone formation. Might try a piece of plastic "drone foundation" wedged onto a top bar.
>Let's know either way in due course jfb58, I'd be interested to see if they can throw off an infection that bad.
Me too!! The people on this forum who have reported success in snatching the brass ring of treatment free bees often seem to have done so with hot climate, swarm prone colonies. I have been happy so far in the productivity without feeding or chemicals, and they don't seem too mean to me. The mite load was a sobering, wish I would have checked for mites before