I was introduced to Beekeeping by a friend in Colorado who kept half-a-dozen hives in his yard. I had a hive there for two years, nothing for 12 years in Texas, and then started up again when I returned to California 6 years ago. I've read several books, but owe most of my knowledge to the generous posting of others on boards like this. I lost my two hives this past winter so I've taken the opportunity to repaint everything this past couple of weeks. I've ordered two 3-pound packages of bees for this year and have signed up to pick up swarms here in Sacramento. I'm hoping to have five hives this year. All my wooden-ware is ready, just waiting on the weather to warm up. My dear wife allows me to do this as long as she gets plenty of honey to give as gifts each Christmas. Pretty good trade for me.