Greetings folks! I've been keeping bees since college when me and my dad cut down a bee tree for fire wood. Since we didn't know that the bees were there, I tried to save them but it was the middle of January and the skunks got in to them. That spring I started beekeeping and have been doing it since 1980. Sometimes I only checked them once a month or only a couple of times a year and I still got a lot of honey off them. In normal years back then, 50 to 100 lbs of honey were very standard for this lazy beekeeper per hive. Since I lived away from home in Florida or Texas I really couldn't be very active in my beekeeping. Since I moved back closer to my home base, I now have Carniolan bees since my Italians finally died out in 2008 and I made the change to start being a better beekeeper. In my primary location is in Kingston Tennessee has a great population of Tulip Poplar, clovers, sumac and some basswood. This year I did a split in the middle of March off my 1 hive after finding a queen cell and that hive still produced over 100 lbs of honey. This location is that good for beekeeping. From early Feb through mid-July there always something in bloom. I have been really impressed with the NW carniolan stock and I'm planning to make a lot more splits this spring and get up to 6-7 hives. So far the carniolan are controlling the mite population without a lot of hard treatments from me. Using wintergreen/tea tree (in sugar feed) and mineral oil (on frames) plus one treatment of Thymol in September for primary control. Going to get a lot of nucs started this spring to expand my hobby. Happy beekeeping guys!