I am potential new beekeep with some "apprenticeship" from beekeeping family back in the country of my origin (grandfather was a farmer and kept 100+ hives, father (ethnologist) kept 3 hives for hobby). No decision work but a lot of hive painting, frame cleaning and fixing and such. I am about to move from NY to NJ (I hope before next spring) and to suburban setting where both our property and surroundings are beekeeping friendly (just next to Seton Hall University). Hence, I am reading and preparing... most likely I'll start with two hives and never go beyond 3 - this is to be hobby for personal enjoyment and use.
My previous experience dictates a lot of what my approach is to be. I am scientist by profession so I am not opposed to chemical treatments but I have seen (partly from necessity - no easy access and great expense) more benefit in letting bees to their own devices as much as possible. So, treatments if hives are in acute serious danger, prevention by good setup practices - accepting both risks and benefits of this methodology. We never worked with foundations, so I'll definitely proceed with foundation-less frames. We used standard Langstroth hives with deeps and supers - here I will make convenience changes for a modern day beekeeping: I plan using just medium 10 frame boxes throughout. Bees we worked with were local Russian/Carpathian hybrids - I'll try to make most of my experience with them by seeking Russian breed nucs as the starting stock suitable for my understanding and practices.
Once in nj I'll seek the local beekeeping association (have already found them on the net). For now, lurking here and reading "everything"...
Everything best,