Having a good time at the Oracle beekeeping conference, but wish I had a fellow ATL beekeeper here.
Instructors here seem to think defend that bees can just completely take care of themselves. Most speakers here don't live in a warm climate like ours. Small cell, zero chemicals and space management seem to be the only excepted topic at this conference for pests. Several times small hive beetles have come up from students, and they just get shut down. I won't even mention the thoughts on mites. It is stated, by Dee Lusby, that the bees here ARE NOT Africanized at all, since it's not a tropical climate. No documents were show to back that up. My family lives in AZ and I can assure you that their experience says otherwise. Most of the speakers are from much colder climate then ours and still shut the conversation down every time. I believe that being a southern, city beekeeper has lots a layers of un-natural circumstances. Lots of compost piles, herbicides, pesticides, neighboring hives that are mismanaged make the SHB invasion much harder for the bees to handle. Space management is the first line of defense, but in my experience, it's not enough anymore.