Well, let it be said that i never seem to do things the easy way, but I do get them done! I have looked into the HSC, and I think it would be a great option...just not presently.
Marliah, thank you for the info Re: Rick Cooper, the guy I know down the road gets his bees from him. It didn't occur to me to try him. It turns out, that I was able to find some small cell foundation through Lincoln Sennett of Swans Honey in Albion, where I am taking a short beekeeping course. I am going to drive down there tonight after work and pick it up. It is not something he normally stocks, but he says that he is expanding his selections. I have to say, that it wouldn't hurt my feelings if my bees were delayed a week, but I called to confirm yesterday, and they will be ready on Saturday. I too, wish I had gone with an 8 frame hive....oh well, there is alway next year!
As far as small cell , and organic, I have read, and heard testimony that the more natural cell size (avg. 4.9mm) really helps with controlling Varroa without the need of harsh chemical treatments. I don't know if there is any hard research to substantiate this, but as Michael Bush states on his website under philosophy,
A lot of decisions on equipment or methods, depend on your personal philosophy of life and your personal philosophy of beekeeping. Some people have more faith in Nature or the Creator to work things out. Some are more interested in keeping their bees healthy with chemicals and treatments. You'll have to decide where you stand on these kinds of things.
This resonates with me on many levels. I have decided that I will put my faith in a "no chemical approach" to my hives (even though I am a complete newbie), and I think regressing my bees to a smaller cell size is a worthy experiment. There are certainly enough large cell examples around to compare it to.
I would eventually like to go foundationless, and try out a Top Bar Hive, but I am going to at least start out by trying to regress to a small cell size. We will be homeschooling our children, and are part of a large homeschooling group in this area, and I see this all as a great source of instruction material and examples for the kids.