Well, the more I learn, the less I think my plan on where to put the bees is appropriate. I'm thinking now that they will do much better in the front yard than the back (it faces mostly east, slightly north, but not north enough to create shade). I'm going to place them fairly close to the house, maybe about a foot or two from it, in a little nook that would put a wall on the west and north sides, which because the rain is driven in from the west or north, would leave the hives completely out of the rain, and would provide morning sun, and late afternoon shade. Also, although highly visible, this spot is seldom walked by, and I believe the location would cause the bees flight paths to better avoid the kids in the area.
I'm also now planning on 1 and a half hives instead of just one (that is one hive, with a springtime split to a nuc, and fall recombining back to 1 using the Emerie method).
I was originally thinking about using a swarm or cutout for the initial bees, then requeening later, but now I'm thinking that I should get a package of italians (w. pedigreed and marked italian queen), then requeening the following year using a carniolan queen with the spring split. Using the italians in the beginning to get more drawn out comb to use later with the carniolans. To prevent robbing during the first split, I'll move the carniolan nuc around to the north side of the house until they are recombined and the italian queen is replaced. After that I'll just stack the nuc on top of the strong hive and orient the entrances in different directions.
I'm going to use all medium hives for greater ease of management, and will use a screened bottom board on both the main and nuc (as long as I use sticky board on the nuc SBB all the time, it should work as a passive control on mites). I'm also now planning on painting the hives white instead of using varnish, this will help them blend in with the white siding and will help keep them a little cooler on those blisteringly hot summer days. Finally, because several neighbor's have pools that the bees might find appealing, I'm going to place a bird bath in the front yard and run a hose under the lawn and up the middle of it that will just barely have water running to keep it constantly replenished. In the top of the bird bath, I'm going to place some egg crate (the kind used in light fixtures, not the kind used for eggs) to provide plenty of easy access to the water for the bees, and will help deter birds from using it as a bath.
As for the foundation, I'm thinking of using plasticell. I'm not completely set on that decision though, so your thoughts may help me decide.
Alright, so let me know if I've missed anything, or if I am just being stupid about something here.