I grew up in central FL before it was cool, ~30ft above sea level, returned to Rapid City SD (the place of my birth) 30+ years ago and for the last 15 yrs+ have lived in the north-central Black Hills, ~5300’ above sea level. Last September I got chickens. (They are known as the gateway drug of livestock, I’m told.) In October I brought home three Scottish Highland heifers and we built a shed/barn for them. The next spring I picked up more layer chicks, 15 heritage turkey poults, and 25 broiler chicks at the post office. Picked up a few more at the farm store including a few broad-breasted poults and 4 Buff geese. A couple+ months ago I brought home a bull for my girls—I believe he has done his job. A month ago, a friend gave me 15 Sweetgrass poults. He also threw in a jar of his genuinely natural honey. I never knew I liked honey before—plus I want to grow food for my birds (and my people) and we’re short of pollinators around here—so now I need bees.
Since I’m a little bit contrarian (or maybe weird, depending on your POV) I want to raise mite-resistant Russian bees in an alternative-type hive. I’ll have to get them by mail as I can’t travel (I’m a caregiver for my mom.) Right now I’m leaning toward a Warrč but I’m open to ideas. I’ve read a bit, but I have pretty much everything to learn before spring. Looking forward to reading all y’all’s wisdom!