I understand that the responsibility of keeping bees healthy and disease free is high, not just for our own hives but others nearby. My experiment in intervention-free control may sound irresponsible to some and time will tell.
I am a novice to bee-keeping but not new to the struggle of dealing with pests and disease. My long career in hospital microbiology and as a gardener at the Royal Botanic Gardens, taught me that as soon as you upset the natural flora and fauna you are on a rollercoaster and may never get off. The modern trend of ultra-clean and medication is a sure way to get sick. It appalls me that cruise ships have everybody disinfecting their hands when all this does is remove the good bacteria allowing the bad to invade.
So it is no surprise that Varroa destructor have been selected out, in the same way Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus has been selected out by misuse of antibiotics. Like bacteria the good mites will control the bad mites. Kill all mites and you will be just be left with a Varroa destuctor and no bees.
From studying research it seems that varroa mortality increases at low temperature/high ventilation and at high temperature/low ventilation whilst bee mortality is constant. Therefore I have increased ventilation at lower temperatures and will reduce as temperatures increase.
The physiology of bees will be dependent on hive temperature and gas exchanges with 32C-35C optimum. Therefore in summer when the inside hive temperature is high, CO2 levels high and O2 low, regular inspections will disrupt the bee physiology and immune systems. Therefore I will not be inspecting the hive when the outside temperature is above 20C, that is all summer here. In that way the optimum varroa mortality rate will be maintained.
I will post more as my inspections progress,
Has anyone else tried this approach? Thanks