My name is Valerie Yarber and this is my first year keeping bees. I am totally addicted, by the way. My father and I decided to get a couple hives this past Spring (I had been begging my husband and/or dad to get some for years, and finially got my dad convinced last Fall...which then my hubby followed in on the venture. As of now we currently have four hives. The last one we aquired last week when we were cutting down a few trees and there was a feral hive in the top of a great big poplar tree (that we didn't know about). I managed to strip the brood and honey out of the tree after we cut it open and tranferred it into a super. I couldn't find the queen, so I ordered one and we put her in last Friday. I had my mentor beek come help tie the brood into empty frames and the bees had already attached it to the wax frame....so they are definitely happy to have a new home and are taking to it nicely. All of my hives are healthy and are producing good. We only took four frames of honey off this year...as we wanted to make sure they overwintered safely. So... any advice would be greatly appreciated on the dos and donts of beekeeping, especially where medicating is concerned. We have been using powered sugar but are thinking about using epistan and fum-b as a preventative right now since we will not be collecting anymore honey this year. What do you guys think about it? Do you do only home remedies or altranate, and why? Looking forward to learning more about being a good beekeeper with strong healthy hives!!