I am from CT and getting 2 packages of Italians in April.
My father was a beekeeper. I remember always having the bees around and trying to keep the smoker lit for him, unfortunately he passed away 3yrs ago. He had three hives left that I drove into the ground by a year and half later. When I checked out the dead bees, they had lots of varroa mites on them. I have not seen a honey bee flying around the yard in a good year or so and I find it kinda sad. Plus the veggie gardens and fruit trees are producing less without the little pollinators. Hopefully my second go round will be more successful.