Hello, all. I am in the early phases of planning for my first hive. So far I have done quite a lot of reading (print and online), and will be taking my first class at the end of January. I've also begun to meet with a few local folk who keep bees. Simply put, I am about as new as one can get......maybe even newer.

I would like to begin with a treatment-free approach, and to maintain it. At this stage I am mostly wanting to know if there are some choices to be made early on that are not easily reversed later (other than treating, that is), such as:

1) Hive construction (style, size): Is this a factor in maintaining a TF colony? I am thinking about starting with 8- or 10-frame
2) Stock: What type of bees should I consider? Note: I am not made of money.
3) Location: Does hive location play a role? I have sun/shade and clay/topsoil to choose from.

I know that there are many more choices to be made in the longer term, but these seem to me to be the ones that might need an answer sooner. Can you provide any advice, based on experience, that I should consider?

Many thanks in advance,