I'm down here in South Louisiana, about 20 miles North of Vermillion Bay.
This is my third time around. Kept bees through high school. My grandmother made the mistake of asking me what I wanted for my 10th birthday and.... . Got bees again when I was out of the Air Force and back in college. Honey paid the doctor when my first two daughters were born. I sold out 7 years later when my job just took too much time. And last year, with retirement looming I decided to give it another go.
Of course things have changed a lot since then. Varoa, small hive beetles, systemic insecticides, CCD............well you guys know the story.
Anyway, I'm taking a minimalist approach this time. Kenya top bars, no treatment, starting with all feral hives. I'm going to let the bees teach me this time.
I caught 3 swarms last year. One was a late cast and I ended up combining it with the weaker of my other two. Everybody made it through winter fine and both hives are building up fast with the maples blooming.............sweet gum soon to follow. I'm hoping to make a few queens this spring and split my hives. I'll mate them a couple of parishes west of here to diversify the gene pool.
Wish me luck.