I must say it is always great to further your education in any field. I for one am a student at UT and now am getting into keeping bees. We have a great Ag dept. and will say I have learned a lot from others who keep and research bees (http://bees.tennessee.edu/
). But... know I have yet to be in a room where all beek's agree on one method. There will be some older beek's who say "they know all there is to know!". Then you have the nerds <--- me)
That thinks there is more than one way to skin a cat! I say this because as much as we know about the bees, the more we don't know and the best way I have learned is question everything, no matter how mad others get, and get involved with anything black and yellow! Hoping you know what I mean
. So I have joined many clubs and keep reading, even old outdated material, so you can see what works for others. All bees are different and many factors should be taken into account. Temp, climate, nectar, amount of bees, age of queen and etc.. Just with that statement we will have those that say "bees are bees". Well if you stress a colony of bees there is more than one way they can handle it! Just saying... don't rely on just what you read or hear. My Professor always tells me to "chew the meat and spit out the bones", only you can decide what is the bones. Your bees your rules!
Test the waters and have no fear they can smell it
. No need for paying big bucks in my opinion, 15,000 years ago they were keeping bees without schools and treating it as a trade... an art! Good luck to you and your bees you will be fine, my tip is try and stay natural!