Hi all, My grandfather had bees when I was a kid and I wish I'd paid more attention. Now I'm an old fart myself and have had a few hives for about eight years I think. My luck (I'm blaming luck, but it's actually a lack of knowledge) has been pretty bad. And expensive. I've lost hives to mites, starvation, yellow jackets, mice, insecticide spraying, and most of all bears. I thought I'd finally gotten a handle on things last year, with northern-adapted survivor bees, an electric fence, etc., but then a bear walked right through the fence and almost wiped me out yet again. This season I bought a couple nucs and caught a couple swarms and split up my sole surviving hive in an attempt to build the apiary back up. I didn't harvest any honey, but am preparing for winter with a total of eight small hives and nucs, a better fence, and high hopes for next year. Found this forum while researching overwintering. Looks like an informative and friendly place.