The year of Covid is my first year of beekeeping after a very long pause. I grew up in South-Eastern Europe and developed fascination with bees as a kid in 1970s. My backyard apiary had up to 20 Lang-style hives. I learned from books and by making mistakes... varroa had already invaded the region, causing problems.
My parents took over the apiary when I moved to the US after college. They managed ok initially, but the number of colonies eventually dwindled down to zero. As my focus shifted to new priorities, my adoration for bees never went away. I also managed to get my kids keenly interested in bees. In fact, my youngest one took the initiative this spring to purchase a couple of nucs and I feel like a kid all over again!
My first observation is that so much has changed for the past 30 years. While colony health management has become more challenging, online resources - and this forum in particular - make it easy to learn and catch-up. Iím very grateful to everyone for sharing their expertise, experience and energy to help other beekeepers. In my experience, community spirit has always been the bedrock of this wonderful hobby/profession and I will try to contribute to the common cause.