Re: treatment free bees in ireland
The bees in question are A. m. Mellifera. I've mentioned before that the first resistant colony I found was strongly influenced by AMM. My bees still carry a strong dose of the genetics as shown by their behavior.
He posits reduced mite virulence as one mechanism in colony survival. Based on his description of numbers of mites per colony, it is a reasonable theory. The article does not provide enough information to conclusively determine if this is a factor.
Winter survival rates are very similar to what I observed from 2004 though 2010. I was experiencing moderate loss until 2010 when colony winter survival went to about 90% and has stayed near there since. 2005 was my first full year with zero treatments.
The one consistent theme is that bees left to adapt to varroa eventually do so.
NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest