The forum asks new members to put in a few words here first so....
The family is finally jumping into beekeeping. We almost did last year but decided to hold off as the second baby was due shortly. I have spent ALOT of time researching and reading up but still have a number of questions (surprise surprise) before I choose a hive and management style. I think I will get into those in detail at other sections of this forum.
In a nut shell we are starting off with a single nuc from Kirk Webster here in vermont, coming to us as a 8 frame deep. I know two would be better to start, but they don't come cheap and one is where things will need to be. We plan to go the organic route. Max honey production is not important to us, and wax is almost as desirable as honey for our uses. Hive health/longevity and learning are our primary goals right now. Plan to make own hives, I build wooden boats and furniture for a living so skills material and equipped shop are a non-issue.
Last spring we had decided to work with a the traditional lang hives, as it seemed the easiest place to learn from. After more time reading and considering I am increasingly drawn to variations on the top bar or horizontal hives, or possibly langs without foundation. The hive will be in the yard, and I work from home, so frequent manipulation/examination not an issue...almost desirable. Primary concern is overwintering. We are zone 4, and see -20 almost every year for a few days....and we get test winters (or used to) well below that on occasion.
I think I will jump over to top bar forum now and get some details. Anyone with input please chase me out over there.
Take care and thanks