We aren't fighting, or have any beef with each other personally.
We're having an educated discussion and airing our beliefs and experiences.
I know on this side of the table I have a great deal of respect for MB experiences and education.
Respect, does not mean that I have to agree with everything that he puts forward, but I understand his line of thinking. In trying to be a better beekeeper, one must keep an open mind and consider points that we never thought we might accept as true. Sometimes this takes effort to re-hash an old topic and come to a new conclusion - an evolution in our thinking.
In many aspects of beekeeping, there are areas that are and will be out for debate for a long time.
Some things are bigger than man can reasonably wrap his mind around, other areas won't have the funding to research it.
With those undetermined areas, "...man will engage in reasonable debate until he is comfortable that he has established his belief and that it is root in a sound foundation of reasonable facts." [Charles S. Stubborn]
(OK, I just made that last quote up as a joke, its really my thinking.)
I realize that this exchange has probably risen beyond the scope of original thread. But the point of this board is for us to explore what comes next if we did something different (education). And our choice to do something is dependent upon building on our existing knowledge of the subject.
You will most likely hear from Mick what happens next in his story. But it helps if others with different experiences explain the road untraveled so that others may avoid the potholes and yet benefit from the diversity.
I think we agree on almost all points about health.
There isn't much to be debated there.
You are concerned about eliminating the genetics of small queens that are normal, healthy, and well mated. Respectable, but I don't see that as an area that is threatened any time soon.
I think that healthy size is encoded in bee genetics pretty solidly.
And my experience has seen reasonable variation in worker/queen sizes between hives.
A natural blend or variation should maintain all viability of all sizes for a long time.
Man has screwed up some things pretty bad for this planet.
But I don't see us deliberately changing queen size for the long haul.
I don't the real benefit (or profits) to do such.
We might get crazy and splice in some fish genes to make them work in colder weather or rain. :roll:
Or maybe some sort of "Glow Worm" genetics to find the queen easier. :roll:
But I think natural queen size is pretty safe.
I'm just looking for the healthiest queen, and at this time, the only way that I can predict longevity is judge by size. Perhaps later man will devise a better way (maybe ultrasound/MRI prices will drop?).
Best to all in the up coming season.