You've got a good point about there being so many opinions to get confused about. I guess I just want to give the bees the best odds of surviving my newbie caretaking. I'm probably over-researching this and the "internet information haze" is a very appropriate term. I guess if they can live in a tree knot or the wall in somebody's garage then they'll be in pretty good shape in a box designed for them. Thanks for throwing the KISS principle at me, I needed that!
It really is simple. The complexity comes in when you get on a forum and get 5000 people each with different ideas that may or may work for you.
My first couple of years I spent in a internet information haze. Everything was so complicated, I tried to think everything out before I did it. I read and read and read.
Then when I'd get out by the hives and a situation arose, I couldn't quite remember what to do or how to do it or if it was even the right thing to do.
Now I just keep a bunch of bees in some boxes and they will put up with whatever I seem to throw at them. Anything not necessary has fallen by the wayside and I just worry about boxes, frames, and something to cover the top and bottom (and that is often a chunk of plywood or the cover of the hive below it!).
Most of the stuff is nice and helpful for the beek, but the bees could care less.