This is my very first year. I'll be putting my hive together next weekend, and picking up my packaged bees in April. I live in southern Maine near Portland. I've been doing a lot of research on-line and through books, but nothing beats talking to others. I'm glad I came accross this site. I also joind my local Beekeepers chapter and found there are quite a few beekeepers in my county. It may be helpful to others to check there local areas for chapters. They are very willing to help. Good luck to all you beginners!