I was thinking of doing the same with my caucs. I received them as an ex feral so I have no real certainty how old the queen is. She could be from last Sept as the bees turned very black after a few weeks. I really haven't decided yet.
I went down to Redpaths last week to get some boxes to keep me busy over winter and they only had 2 left. Next shipment comes in in July. I'm using them for my vac collection boxes and have to pick up some more boxes elsewhere. I want to make sure I have plenty of supplies come spring for swarms and to extend my two existing hives upwards.
I'm building some of those hinged frames for putting feral comb in at a cut out. Just interested to see how they compare.
The good thing with re-queening is it doesnt take too long for the hive to take on the characteristics of the Queen!
Sounds like most other people have the same idea bout having something to tie them over for the winter! Sunrise apiaries in Geelong are quite good price wise - i've met the guy personally and he's great! I really hope i can jump on the swarm bandwagon come spring!
I reckon those hinged frames are a gret idea! so much less stress! and the good thing is you'd be able to embed the wires in the comb if you wanted and just use them as normal frames and swap them out over time.
Have you been able tos chedule that cut out down in Moorabbin yet?