[Mike: "In the medium and long term there's no difference. Its all perpetuating loser bees."]
With bees: if you stop the selection, you stop the development of immunity that can only occur WITHIN A POPULATION.
And this MUST be allowed to occur; because the various pathogens are constantly evolving better ways to attack - the bees MUST have the means to counter this constant development.
I suggest you look up 'evolution' AND 'arms race' and do some studying.
Really, why? It took me about 10 seconds to find the evidence and present it. Did you think I wouldn't bother?
That isn't what Weavers did at all. Here's the proper story in their own words:
"The Chemical Free Bee Dream... Came True:
1995 Weaver Apiaries divided into 2 companies, BeeWeaver and The R Weaver. During BeeWeaver's first season Danny started leaving yards of bees untreated for varroa mites.
1995-2000 BeeWeaver bred from surviving colonies (literally a handful in each yard the first several years) and continued to leave more yards untreated. In the process we lost 1000s of colonies, but we noted remarkable improvement in survival rates each season.
2001 BeeWeaver stopped treating hives for varroa mites completely. By 2001 nearly all BeeWeaver colonies had been chemical free for more then a year, but 2001 marked the year no acaricide was used in any colony.
2009-present BeeWeaver Bees are tested at Penn State and found to be resistant to diseases carried by varroa mites. Bringing our understanding of what BeeWeaver bees had become to a new level. BeeWeaver stock had become naturally hardy and less likely to succumb to bee diseases and infections. Simply by letting natural selection drive our bee breeding program BeeWeaver stock became the best all around bee."
As everybody can plainly see Beeweavers applied the principles of Natural Selection. They also made positive artificial selections.
In other words what they did is absolutely consistent with the tenets of traditional husbandry that I've been arguing for.
For the record: as I've said on many other occasions; there are other ways to achieve the same result, that involve much less loss. You don't have to take the 'live and let die' route in order to gain resistance.
You just have to understand certain realities of living things, and apply that understanding to your occupation.