I just want to be sure that keeping a hive or two in my current home isn't irresponsible or won't result in swarming or anything like that. I still have alot to learn before I decide on whether or not to fully delve into the world of beekeeping, but I figured this place would be the best place to bone up on some extra info on the subject...
Also, I've heard from people in the area that there's been a real problem with Varroa mites...I've read that certain breeds can be more resistant to mites....like Russian Honeybees.. can anyone recommend breeds that are pretty accessible, reasonably priced, and have a pretty good resistance to mites and other disease?
Swarming is ulimitley an issue of space. Bees with room to grow are not likely to swarm. Maintain your bees properly by adding frames and boxeswhen you are suppose to. Split hives when it is time to do so.
Mites, small hive beetles,and wax moths are nasty nasty nasty. The best way to start a flamewar is to recommend one way over another on how to deal with pests. Everyone has a solution that is right for them. Ultimatley a strong healthy hive will always be your best defense against pests( note how I made the politcally correct answer on that).For beginners I still think italians are best.