>There are so many believes in natural beekeeping that it cannot stand many basic facts.
The "basic facts" as I see it are that many of us are doing natural beekeeping and the bees are still alive. If your "basic facts" were true, they would all be dead.
If goal is "hive is alive" it is the lowest level of skills. - Yes it is question every spring in my yard.
One basic fact in beekeeping is that hives are many. They may have 2 boxes of bees or 9 boxes.
Near me is a 82 old beekeepers whose hives are allways 1 or two boxes. They have been 25 years.
I dont accept even " 4 boxes alive". To me threshold of alive beehive is 6 boxes
. It is hard to achieve. I unite weak hives and queens may go to heaven pastures.
When I started beekeeping, most of beekeepers were "natural beekeepers" in Finland. They had cerbs, hives were about 5 langstroth frames, race was crossed German Black, swarms went and swarms arrived.
Once I had hive two years. It had 4 frames and it swarmed it it become bigger. Then it swarmed tolally and nothing stayed.
They were "local naturals". They disturbed good queens' mating ultill 1990 and then varroa killed them all.
This kind of beekeeping does not need any learning or philosophy. Many beekeepers said that they opened first time they hives in June. They were totally easy to nurse. Michael, even you cannot minimize work with them like our beekeepers made. If hive died then new swarm arrived to empty hive.
Cell size will not change this kind of beekeeping and they mostly had natural cells, because mice shewed combs and bees made them again. :-P