Greetings: I've had a long time interest in bees that began when a group of students ran into my room with breathless news of a HUGE swarm of bees on a bush outside of the school. Since I was a biology teacher, I was duty-bound to follow my academic charges and was led to what I know now to be a rather modest swarm size of maybe 2-3 pounds. I had no equipment at that time, so my best course of action was to inform the principal, whose husband was a beekeeper. He came and collected the swarm, and gave me a small book on beekeeping. I read it, of course (science teacher, hello) and was hooked. Now, after a fitful start, I'm ready to begin again. I'm very interested in top-bar hives and the warre' hives. It just makes sense to me to use as few chemicals as possible with my garden and livestock (poultry) and I see no reason not to practice this with the bees. I look forward to reading the posts on this forum and exchanging comments with the members.