Having taken a break from 'keeping for a few years I have returned to the sport and am glad to have found the BeeSource which looks live a hive of enthusiastic, knowledgeable, friendly beekeepers. Since 1988, I have been a backyard keeper in central Maryland and now reside out on the Ches Bay. Hurricane Isabel ended my earlier phase (it was an indescribable awful experience of loss and destruction). I recently helped a neighbor with a swarm hive and realized how much I missed the flying magic show and have now established new hives (early spring swarms have pushed the total to seven hives where my equipment is maxing out). Like most of you I have nutty crazy bee stories and experiences including a 1993 research trip to Costa Rica with focus on their experience with Africanized bees. My background spans back pre-mites and pre-internet where I benefited muchly from Maryland's great bee clubs, state and national bee organizations, and local federal agencies for early 'learnings'. My future interests include establishing a healthy bee yard, top bar, microscopy, mason and bumbles, and queen rearing, and I hope I can offer some friendly contributions here in exchange for the privilege of foraging in the vast fields of expertise in these forums.