I have concluded that because of the body size and difference in wings and the genetics over all of all different bees and the nature in creation,different bees do have different habits by nature of the creation and some do fly farther to do their job. Anyone should know if you put the right engine and wings on the right size airplane,it will be the best airplane in performance. The same with bees and man.
Now my only question is,what is the best all around bee ? If some do need to fly farther and do to collect pollen and nectar it would be to their benefit and the bee keeper.
If anyone don't want to raise the best bees or fly the best airplane,be my guest.
joel, i think you are missing something.
in general, insects tend to obey the "cube law", whereas as the size of the insect increases, anatomical details also increase as a cube of size....wing size, and flight muscle mass specifically. this is seen as one travels and sees different populations of similar insects of varying sizes. this makes complete sense, and demonstrates a kind of ideal balance between resources allocated for flight, weight, carrying capacity, etc. ie, a bee with extra flight muscles might fly better under more conditions, but the cost of building, maintaining, and moving these muscles is "expensive" resource wise, and the savings of not having these extra large flight muscles outweighs the advantages (ie, a corner store with 3 times the inventory of a nearby corner store will have more variety and more stock on the shelves, but the cost of maintaining such a large inventory may well make it less competitive....convenience stores are smaller than supermarkets with less items and higher prices....you don't see a quicky mart the size of a super walmart for a reason).
apis meliferia (and it's various races) also follows this law...in nature, larger races of bees have their weight cubed in relation to body length.
when bees are enlarged via enlarged foundation (big bees), their weight increases in proportion, not as a cube, to body length. this indicates that although the wing length is appropriate for the size of the enlarged bee, it's flight muscles are not.
when people are talking about large bees and small bees, this is what they are talking about. the "best bee" really depends on the specific environment they live in. when the paramaters are changed, selection criteria change, and the best bee on enlarged comb is likely not the same as the best bee on natural comb.
there is nothing natural about foundation, be it small or large....but 4 years of feeding in empty frames into the middle of a broodnest isn't natural either. hiving swarms without foundation is certainly more "natural"....but of course the enlargement of bees has also had an influence on selection pressures, and finding a "natural" bee to start with is difficult, if not impossible.
ALL of the historical data shows honeybee comb to be 5.08mm and smaller before the use of foundation and enlarged foundation became common. this is science, not hocus pocus...it's all well documented, including the process of enlarging the foundation.
mike, i don't think you are "wrong" for keeping bees without mite treatments on LC comb. as i think i've said to you before, the common denominator of those not using treatments is that they stopped treating, and didn't start again with the appearance of a mite or 2, or the loss of even significant losses.
i will say that we don't use any treatments (for mites or otherwise). our own experience was that we couldn't keep bees alive without treatments until we regressed them to small cell....and that includes commercial italian stock (i think from hardemans originally).
we visited some hives the other day (18 of them....4 of our own survivor stock, and the rest from don "fatbeeman"), and there was an inspection report waiting for us. no mites (although it was indicated that he checked for mites) we are not isolated by any means (lots of beekeepers using mainstream practices in flying distance), and i've only seen 2 mites all year. i don't do extensive mite counts, but we do make up observation hives a few times a week from various colonies and spend the day with them at the market, and i do uncap a few drone brood when i inspect. i've seen 2 mites all year. believe me, our inspector told us 3 years ago that our bees would all be dead, and there were mites to find, he would find them and put it on the report (he isn't exactly onboard with what we are doing, and would love to point out how we have failed). last year, we went through the hives with the inspector...after the fact he claimed to have seen one mite in 20 colonies (he did not point it out as we went through the hives).
genetics are certainly important...but i think management practices even moreso.