This year we embarked on our first bee adventure. We bought 2 complete hives and one package of Carniolan bees from our good friends at AzureB in Marbury, MD. The single leg on these homemade hive-stands makes it easier to keep out hive pests like ants and beetles by giving them only one route which we can guard by wrapping it with tape (sticky side out) and liberally applying cinnamon at the base. They're also tall enough to make it comfortable to manage the bees with out a lot of bending and, most importantly, to keep skunks from scratching and eating bees at night.
We also ordered a nuc of Russian Bee's from Pristine Valley Farms in Harford County, MD in order to try out two different races of bee's and see which overwinters better. Eventually, I suspect we'll end up with just one race and we understand that there's a possibility that it will be a hybrid of the two. All I really care about is making sure I have strong, healthy bees that are sustainable without chemicals and thrive in my specific ecosystem.
Here's the photojournal of our recent hive inspection to see how all the ladies have been doing so far: