Hi! My name is Wendy. I am a new beekeeper as of 4/27/19, when I installed my first package of Saskatraz from Olivarez Honey Bees. The following week, I picked up a Caucasian Nuc of Old Sol Stock from Urban Bee across the state (5 hours of driving, one way, then 7 hours back because Urban Bee told me to pull over every 30 minutes to mist the vent holes!). I also have a Bee Weaver Queen on order, arriving next week, which I will be adding to a split I am making from the Saskatraz. I live in the Inland Northwest, which means rainy, wet, windy falls and springs, super hot & dry summers, and snowy/icy winters. My hives are located in my large organic backyard vegetable garden - we live on a double city lot. The other half of my backyard is occupied with our 11 free range hens, and my mini fruit & nut orchard. I am in the process of ripping out all the sod in our front yard in order to plant an entirely nectar-rich, pollinator friendly, drought tolerant cottage garden. I started almost 400 plants from seed in late winter to plant in it! You could say I'm pretty passionate about helping the pollinators as much as humanly possible. My short-term goals include an entirely edible landscape (which either feeds our family, or the bees, or both), successfully overwintering all 3 colonies, and improving my very basic woodworking skills. My next year's goal is delving into queen rearing. My long-term goal is to buy as much land as I can, expand my apiary, and produce honey, cut comb, propolis, pollen, ointments, lotions, candies, candles, hive components, queens, & overwintered nucs for sale. I would love to see what the mix of genetics I am beginning with can breed into future daughter queens. I have some family members who would love to help see these goals realized, and will be helping regularly in the hive maintenance & production end. Doing things as chemical-free as possible is highly important to me. I obviously need a few years under my belt before I begin accomplishing the long-term goals, and I have a lot of learning to do! I'm excited to become a member of this community, as I know it is no substitute for a mentor, but I have been unsuccessful at finding one to date. I have to admit that I'm vulnerable to random internet advice if it sounds logical enough to my exceedingly inexperienced brain, so I'm hoping some on this forum will be willing to set me straight when I'm considering following misguided methods in beekeeping. Thank you very much for being here, I look forward learning from you.