I’m just a complete amateur, but this spring I bought 2 Australian nucleus colonies. I split the stronger one, ending up with 3 nucs. Although the bees arrived April 21, it was hardly spring here, zero flowers or even trees budding for pollen. So they had a hard start, first having to raise their own comb on wax coated plastic foundation. I followed recommendations that uniform foundation reduces drone production, and no doubt helps the bees get started. Plus, in standard Langstroth frames, they should last a lifetime of extraction and handling.
Before nectar flow really got going, the hives were consuming 2kg sugar made into a 50% syrup daily.
After their stay in town, they went up north 240km to their bee yard. Bears are almost as common as the deer, a 6 strand high tension fence is not optional. Also good to keep skunks out, apparently they like to eat bees in the night. A spike board in front of hives will also stop that.
They are doing well in their location, the strongest hive has 4 supers for brood, and now a queen excluder and 5th for honey production. My land was suffering under a severe drought since the end of June, but the weather patterns have shifted, it’s starting to rain, so nectar will flow, the bees will be in their glory. By chance a neighbour planted canola, so apart from the prairie and woodland flowers they will have ample supplies across the road.
I made alll my own gear, frames from scrap lumber, turns out bees are a lot of work to get set up…