We had two speakers - the first, a father/son team gave a talk and demonstration on putting together equipment (hive bodies and frames). They did a great job!
The second speaker was our area state bee inspector, Will Hicks, to talk about those nasty diseases and pests. I've heard this talk many, many times and it's frightening to new beekeepers and it's still frightening to me. I do have some varroa mites and hive beetles. The colony collapse disorder (ccd) that is the latest threat - so far, I've missed that. I do have screened bottom boards on all my hives and leave them on all year and I do not use chemicals in my hives.
I'm not sticking my head in the sand -every hive is different, every beeyard is different and every beekeeper is different. This is my fourth year - we'll see how it goes.
If you're interested in bees or a "wannabee", please find a group and attend the meetings. They are a wealth of information for new and old beekeepers.