Marty and Lisa:
Welcome to the forums
I know that such a world traveler must have seen some interesting and even strange things - I wonder if your mind had always had interest in beekeeping and if you have seen many different hive configurations?
We have several Philippine members who have very interesting LOG HIVES and I've seen many (well a few anyways) members in the states start with cut sections of trees and move the hives into standard boxes, where as in the Philippines they raise them in these really cool split hives.
Glad you found the forums, I know when either using the search feature or asking all of us live in the forums or chat, you will have a GREAT RESOURCE here to work from and I know it will help make a better beekeeper out of you then if you had never found the forums. We are ALL better at this hobby, whether we are just learning about bees for the first time or have been raising them for decades - all of us learn from others triumps and mistakes and they are both VERY powerful tools that none of us are scared to share.
Welcome again, hope to see you here often!!!