Sounds like everything is working GREAT in the bee yard and in life - I am thinking I'd love to place a hive in the middle of that garden if it were possible? Facing South isn't at all a bad thing, East is idea to get the up early, but it sure beats being in the North side of the house in total shade all the time.
I hope you find a great place to place them. I don't know about the lavander honey, sounds like (and I'm just guessing) it is a pollen thing, more than nectar.
Although, I can't imagine a prettier thing than a field of lavander with bee hives in it :)
Glad you found our forums, I know sharing your tales as the season developes will be INTEREST to all of us and THERAPY for you - it's handy having people will ALL LEVELS of beekeeping experience in one place, we can all tap on each other.
I work for the Federal Government, and the policy was ALWAYS to let NEW WORKER be taught by the PREVIOUS hired new worker - the concept is that, a seasoned employee doesn't recognise the uniqueness of their own enviroment. Where the last person hired has a list 3 feet long to share with the new employee.
Beekeeping is a good place for that concept too! Having someone who JUST received and installed their bees can be a valuable aid when setting up for your own hives - especially if they are your first.
I wonder how much help you gave your father with the bees? I believe that assisting is a great way to enter a hobby. I learned as a teen from a friend and he learned from his father.
Anyways :) Welcome aboard, I hope the next four weeks go by quickly and your delivery is timely. I've been reading posts where SURPRIZE early deliveries have caught a few people off guard some - so be prepared just in case.
Talk again soon :)