thank you for the quick responses. as i mentioned, this my first time doing this, it's actually something my girlfriend and i are doing together, so we are both learning about bee keeping as we go along. she's left construciton of the hive up to me. i used some plans i got off the web for a californian tbh and changed them around bit to fit our climate and materials better. i'll post pic's on my site as soon as i have a chance. i expect this to be quite a learning experience, in terms of hive construction. we began keeping goats a few years ago, with no prior experience, we look back at some of the fences and housing strategies we tried back then and laugh. we underestimated how smart the goats were and what they could figure out, i assume the same thing will happen with the bees.