I kept Bees years ago. Been away from it for about 20 years. Finally got things set up the way I want and am back to five hives this year.
The wife and I restored a farm house built in 1840 after we moved it onto 36 wooded acres. We are surrounded with a few thousand acres of basically nothing but wildlife and plants so I figured the bees will do OK here.
Ive been lurking here for a while reading and trying to learn how things are done today. When I had bees before, we never treated with anything and As I remember, we only ever lost two hives. One was to flood and the other is a mystery to me now. Over the years, I had heard about all of the diseases and problems with losing bees and I often wondered if the Beekeepers were killing the bees with too much treatments.
Anyway, no soapboxes yet.
I started this year with two packages of Italians from Georgia. Then two Packages of Italians that a friend shook out of his hives and installed a Italian Queen from Hawaii. (He says they are great). I then split one of the geargia Hive because it was growing like crazy. They filled two hive bodies in no time.
The difference in me now is that I try to observe the bees and learn what they need...and I probably mess with them too much, when years ago, I saw it almost as a chore and I just let them do there thing.