The pollen patties had NOT been shown to increase mites. What happened was the bees fed pollen sub patties had more mites. But the reasoning is unknown, the sample too small, and the testing unverified. The study did not show that "feeding pollen patties drastic increases mite levels". Where did the study claim this? It just states that one model, the one fed pollen substitute, had more mites. And that additional testing was needed to find out why. The reasons could be many and not even connected with what they were being fed.
The test model also is far different than actual in the field real world application. No drones were allowed, the bees were noted as being very hard to keep alive inside tents, making model 2 and 3 different from model #1. And there is no reference to what the levels of mites were prior to starting the testing. Basically the mite levels were "noted" and found afterwards. It was not a controlled study looking at mite levels being effected by feeding models. Many controlled tests over the years were found to be far different when you took the test beyond lab testing to field testing in real world application.
The claim of real pollen had no effect on mites, is false for about every point just made. You can not conclude that anywhere from the study.
On a side note...initial incomplete testing, and random findings, are the basis of many grant and funding applications. Now that there are so many questions, the funding source for additional testing I am sure is in the works. This type incomplete testing, is very common in research. The actual results of later tests may or may not show what was originally thought to be true. But what it will do, is have many other questions that will need to be answered. And that, will be the basis of additional grants and funding. And so it is repeated. The key for beekeepers is to not knee jerk react everytime something like this pops up.
This is no way intended to be negative towards JB, as I have great respect for her. It just is how the game is played.
Also...Open feeding is rarely successful unless there is NO real pollen available. Since the OP mentions "more brood" I will assume the bees are brooding off some type nectar and pollen flow, even if it is small.
I agree that small pollen patties, 1 or 2 days feed, is probably best.