I'm an old worker-bee who "grew up" (Hah!) on a farm in the Pacific NW and we had stacks of hives brought to our property each year. I loved the bees and would often stand a-midst them just to bee there and to watch and listen.
I just completed a two day course in the basics of beekeeping and have purchased and set my first colony in a deep box on a stand where they get almost complete sun and have some wind and rain (we get a LOT of each) blocked by my bananas. I can contact the guy who provided the course but right now he's so busy, I thought I'd try and find some answers from other beekeepers as well as my nice stack of Beekeeping books.
We live in an agricultural area and have citrus orchards and all kinds of assorted plants and trees in the area. I have some ohia on our property but will be planting more.
From a local beekeeper, I purchased a well-developed colony instead of a weaker colony, THEN I read how it might have been better for a beginner to start with a weaker colony so I'd have time to get to know them.
I have a second deep and a "?honey super?" sitting in the garage.
Here's why I began to look for a Hawaiian Beekeeping Forum, even though today's questions are probably more global in nature: I opened the box this morning, for the first time. The frames on each end are full of brood and there are bees hanging off each of the frames I pulled. As this was my first time opening, I wanted to see the queen but didn't see her when inspecting the two inner-most frames. Bees all seem happy and well-adjusted. I didn't see any queen cells.
1. Should I put on the second deep or should I first ID the queen?
2. Think it will bother the bees if I look for the queen a few days in a row or shall I give them a rest? Personally, I could spend all day staring at them and watching, but I've got WORK to do!!
3. Did I purchase a colony that will already need to split or I'll lose a swarm or two? ...and does that mean I need to build or buy more equipment already?
4. Did I mistakenly step into a "Rich Person's Hobby"?
Mahalo, in advance, for any assistance or ideas or comments or good jokes.