I agree with what you said. Many people have questioned my own explanations on helping someone use apistan or checkmite, suggesting that when such advice is given, they take that to mean that I endorse or use the stuff myself. I don't, but I would much rather see them use it correctly, than in ways that others do it incorrectly.
One of the problems I see, is the overall industry. The industry being outside of such discussion groups as this. That being about 99% of all beekeepers. In that world, and for much of what I see myself in county, state, and even larger organizations, you get one picture painted across the board. IF YOU DO NOT TREAT, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR BEES!
Keeping the idea, and the one that is reality, meaning "treating" equals using chemicals sold as strips, etc., than that is the overall message that MOST beekeepers come in contact with.
Whether it be county clubs, or state associations, there are always segments of the "new beginner" courses that deal with dumping chemicals into the hives, right after what seems endless hours of discussing every known malady to beekeeping. And of course, you will not hear about genetics, the different strains of bees, alternative IPM strategies, and more natural approaches to beekeeping. Many times, new beekeepers come away with the idea that if they do not treat they will lose their hive, if they do not dump in terramyacin from day one they will get AFB, if they mention a TBH they are made to feel that they are idiots for such nonsense, and if they want to go natural they are just a tree hugging moron who deserves to be lose their hives. And I think we have all seen such matters played out.
So beekeepers come here and hear the other 1% of beekeeping. They hear passionate people telling passionate stories of better ways of keeping bees. It is the new beekeeper that needs to keep it in perspective, just as they need to keep it in perspective with all the garbage about what they learn in those beginner courses with the discussions of using chemicals.
But the winds are changing. EAS, this year, has the theme along the lines of "natural beekeeping". A little late in my opinion and way over due to address some of the items they now want to talk about. But I'm glad to see the effort. I just hope they are not lining up standard "academia" types who are just saying enough of what people want to hear, without the true commitment that is needed, and not using "real" people doing "real" things.
I direct many people to this site. And I tell all of them, "The site is great to come in contact with many types of beekeepers, whether the smallcell crowd, the organic crowd, etc. Take it all with a grain of salt.
And I think I would rather have passionate people talk about "breaking some law of nature" in regards to the very "unnatural aspect of dumping in chemicals" instead of the long standing practice of telling beekeepers "if they don't use chemicals, they will lose their bees".
If you hate others being so passionate and one-sided, then be that voice in the middle. I know I have no problem with that. But I can not expect everyone to not be biased or opinionated here, anymore than what I could expect the bee industry to all stand up and stop telling new beekeepers to NOT use chemicals. So you end up with extremes on both sides, with that much needed gray area in the middle. Beating your head over it is useless. So here...beat on this.... :deadhorse:
I think all new beekeepers should be exposed to those that do not use chemicals. And if they start from day one, then all the better.
BTW...I do think that its against natures laws, when we created this problem ourselves, and continue to perpetuate it by having bees rely on chemicals to stay alive....(alive but not healthy). That does indeed go against nature's laws. ;)