Understudy, IMO you should become very familiar with the bee hive enviroment before you launch yourself in different concepts other than standard as practiced today. I would say that at least one year and a lot of reading would be helpful for a fairly good understanding of the hive enviroment. Maybe more than one year. This beekeeping business has no shortage of experimenters as you will learn as you study more. Going into fast forward is risky because we are dealing with nature here, not programable micro chips.
You can use the known IPM methods for verroa control and they will work if you follow through with all the procedures in a timely manner. There are some new soft chemical verroa control products coming in the market that look promising for the future.
And that's what it's about, the future, unknown to U. But what is known is standard beekeeping practices and I would stick to that for awhile before trying to make your bees convert to a different style.
Frankly I couldn't get anyone at LSU to even discuss small cell, and those guys lives are intertwined with bees and their keeping.
Good luck though if you persist in moving into an alternate life style. :P