Finsky, what you say is good. But....sometimes it is good to calculate the mite counts so the person can see if their mite counts are high or low. I agree with killing the mites. But....still knowing what one is dealing with is a good thing. I do not agree with you there. The end result is to kill the mites. But human curiosity is basically why I see counting the mite levels is a good thing.
If there are no mites present in a colony (by using a sticky board and counting), it would be counterproductive to treat a hive. There would be no reason to apply any mite control methods. The likelihood of no mites is remote. Except for, as Michael Bush and Dee Lusby say (and perhaps many more) who use the small cells say, they have no mites.
Also, Finsky, you must know this. If the mite levels are EXTREMELY high, the 21 day formic acid treatment is not enough. There must be more acid put into the hive so that the treatment is doubled in length. If the mite levels are reasonable, then the 21 day treatment plan is sufficient. But, do you know this? It is in the Mitegone site and speaks about it. Important.
I am of the belief that the sugar shaking is positive. There are times when formic acid (and definitely oxalic acid) must not be used in the colonies. When the honey flow is occurring. But for beekeepers that will not be selling their honey commercially (example would be for themselves) or (friends), the sugar shake I think is good. It reduces the mite counts and cannot do any harm by reducing the numbers. The small amount of powdered sugar that may taint honey so it is not 100% honey (that could be sold commercially), is not bad for the small time beekeeper. I doubt if very much powdered sugar would get into the honey anyways....but.....
I still agree with you though, beekeepers must kill the mites. Have a wonderful and a great life along with it. Cindi