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Seems like most times I searched a Bee question, I was directed to this forum. Soooo,,,,,,,,,I figured to join would be in order.
Became active in Beekeeping back in college. Majored in Entomology at U of Md. Beekeeping was a natural. Developed an allergy by the first year. Sold the hives. That was in 1973. Bout four years ago, a friend of mine outa the blue commented he always wanted to keep Bees. My comment was, I'm your man!!! I had worked out doors and had to take anti venom shots for bee allergies. I went to my allergist, was tested, said I was somewhat allergic to bees. I got an epi pen and ordered the bees. Long story shortened, bee stings hurt, but I have no other reaction. Swells of course but the more I get stung, the less that seems to be. My buddy and I have 8 hives. I had a swarm set up home in a hive I had at my house,(no hives here) setting in my driveway. Craziest thing. Haven't seen a bee in my yard as long as I've lived here. I hadn't had alot of time for the bees until I retired this January. Now, as a result of the "Feral" bees, I'm interested in bee genetics, no treatment and natural mite remedies. figured I'd ease into it. Been using the miticides. Didn't know any better at the time. will not be using them in the future. My bee partner and I may part ways if I can't convince him to at least go natural on the mites.
Hope i can contribute to the forum. I'm betting folks will learn from my failures as I like to experiment.
Rick from Calvert County Southern Maryland
 

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Welcome Rick,
There is a lot of info here with over 10000 members. I've learned more here than in the 12 or more books I own.
Good too have you,
 

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Welcome, there are many natural ways to keep hives alive without poisoning them. SMR, VSH and Minnesota Hygenic are better at grooming behavior. That is good against Varroa and small hive beetles to some degree. I have two Buckfast colonies out of Canada. They are quite strong without chemicals.
 
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