Custom Wood Kits International, a manufacturer of top bar hive kits, recently emailed an announcement advertising the creation of their new business on many of the major beekeeping email lists. As part of their marketing scheme, Custom Wood Kits criticized a number of other approaches to bee management (e.g. small cell) in order to show the benefits of top bar hives. As might be expected, a number of the list members on the "Organic" beekeeping list took exception to their criticism of "small cell" foundation. Some list members thought it would be better for them not to take such a negative approach in their advertising, especially about something "they know very little about", but remain, instead, positive about their own product. As a skeptical outsider who reads the Organic Beekeeping list I found this request a bit ironic, if not downright hypocritical. The "Organic Beekeeping" list's stock-in-trade is to negatively cut down anyone who uses bee medications on their bees and doesn't use small cell foundation, no matter what the scientific research might say. (Didn't they go through a week of negatively criticizing Bee Culture magazine?)
To be truthful, I am often critical of the way laypeople and non-reflexive scientists use (and abuse) scientific research, so I have always been sympathetic to the small cell people. Scientific results are always probabilistic, nothing is 100% certain, especially when you examine honeybees in a holistic, ecological fashion. But to not extend to the "Custom Wood kit" folks the same "rhetorical leniency" to speak negatively against other management philosophies, as the "Organic" beekeepers do on their list, is hypocritical.
Natural beekeeping is such a contested concept.