I've been lurking for a few months, and finally decided to register.
I've had two to three colonies since I was a teenager, which thinking about it, means I've had bees for half my life now.
This year I decided to take steps to make my little operation bigger and more self sufficient. I've split my way from my one winter survivor to six very strong colonies, plus several nucs just recently made up.
I've also started to attempt queen rearing. Attempt #1 failed after I missed an emergency queen cell hidden in the cell builder. She hatched out earlier than the queens I was trying to raise and put a stop to that. Attempt #2 starts soon, this time with a more thorough check of the cell builder.
I'm still experimenting with various foundation/foundationless frame configurations. So far I'm a fan of small cell in the core of the broodnest, foundationless on the fringes of the broodnest, and all my old 5.4mm plastic frames on the outside storing honey and pollen. On box sizing, I use deeps with plans to phase them out in favor of mediums over the next twenty years.
Anyway, I have to thank the community here, I've stumbled across many threads with useful information, and I look forward to contributing to discussions in the future.