I'm starting with two hives this year, getting nucs from a person down in Montague, MA. As far as hive configuration goes, here's what I'm aiming for:
8 Frame Setup
Screened Bottom Boards
1 Medium (to start)
Metal queen excluder
Telescoping cover w/ inner cover
Is this sufficient room for them to start? I've seen people do all mediums and while I like how interchangeable it is I worry about having to go through too many boxes every time I want to inspect.
I didn't include frames and foundation. I think I'd like to do wooden frames with wax foundation. Can I reliably use frames from anywhere or should I stick with frames from the same supplier as the box? I've heard some frames you can just drop the wax foundation in from the top. That sounds way less tricky than some of the other means of attachment. Any thoughts there as well?
I'm also wondering about accessories. I'm leaning towards getting top feeders with supers and frame hangers. For the basic components above I've included screenshots below from some online vendors for pricing and comparison. Note that NakedBeeHives has some windowed deeps that I thought were pretty neat.
Online Supplier Comparison Screenshots
Thanks ahead for any feedback.