The Name is Gerald Boggs. I'm new to bee keeping. I started three years ago after taking a community college class. I live in Afton, Virginia, USA. A area that appears to be mostly disease and problem free for the bees :-) that bit of knowledge comes from my neighbor who has been keeping bees for twenty years and has had few problems. The mites have been about it and even they are becoming less and less of a problem. We even have wild bees coming back.
My regular job is that of blacksmith. I've a small shop here at home, so I don't have to commute. Before anyone asks, no I don't do horses, that's the work of a farrier. The work I do is in the area of such things as custom furniture, fireplace doors, hardware, small railings and gates, with a bit of art every once in a while. I enjoy working with my hands in a way that brings me as close as possible to the material I'm working with. For that reason, I prefer to work at the anvil, using a hand hammer to shape the iron and a coal forge to heat it. I keep a small garden and a coop of chickens for the same reason, The pleasure I receive from being able to go out in the morning and fill my basket with some eggs, fresh tomatoes and a bit of cilantro for my breakfast, far exceeds the effort and brings me closer to..., well I'm not sure what it brings me closer too, but I like the feeling. I'm slowly building a place that wherever I look there is life and fruitfulness. That sounds kind of corny, but true. I've added fruit trees to the yard. Added a bamboo grove between me and the road (yes, I've taken steps to contain it) This is the year that it will give me a complete wall of privacy. The garden area is increased each year and the herbs are doing well. This year I'm looking to add herbs for tea. A hedge row is in the works for the border between me and my closest neighbor, it just seemed to make better sense then a fence, as it will provide a home to many of the small animals. Hopefully the local fox won't feel invited :-)
As I have a tendency to ramble, I'll stop here.