I am a brand new bee keeper. I think I know that most hive that are over run by mites do it by having babies, lots of babies. If all hives have mites wether teated or untreated and the mite become an over load due to lots of brood making lots of mites and lots of mites infecting more bees with virus? I do not see how the treatment free or treating guys can really be hurting each other that bad and even if they are, it will never be stopped. I lean to the treatment free due to the fact that nobody controls all thier swarms so that none get away and so mites will never go away. My conclusion right now is to not worry bout how anyone else keeps bees except maby to steal ideals from them that I want to incorperate for myself. I have not treated yet and nothing has died yet. When something dies, I will do an autopsy and try and figure out why. I will watch for dmv and pierced brood caps and such.
If I lose some bees I might still live treatment free if I still end up with more then I started with when all is said and done.
I could be wrong but was thinking that kirk and micheal palmer may have had hives in the same area and both have taken differrent routes and made it work. I am not even against treaters as long as they don't point too many fingers at me for the way I keep bees. I might be a treater someday if that is where I decide to go. Alot will depend on how I do now.
I figure all the bee keepers lose some of thier bees. I don't expect to never lose one. As long as I can keep building at a slow rate and not going too far backward (Though everyone of the big name early guys like lanstroth and miller all lost whole aperies and they are still looked up to.
One thing I believe is that the outside invioroment can not be controlled and so I intend to do it my way (which includes stealing ideals from others). I am sure of one thing. Bees are probly going no where cause all you have to do is look on craigs list and somebody always has extra to sell.
I would not try treatment free but the guy I bought my bees from doesn't treat and so I am letting it ride also. I do think there is a differrance with a commercial guy who makes a living off bees with no other income. I believe what they do is find the easiest way to put little proceedures in so that it can be relayed to thier helpers with less oversite from them.
Most peg away at it till they find what works really well for them and then the growing stops untill something new starts happenning. Why make changes to what you know if you are being successful.
If I am successful not treating, you will not be able to convince me I am doing it wrong. Most are like that.