I have a 10 frame double deep hive which I started last spring. So far they are making it through the winter. I also have 3 gourd racks with a total of 48 gourds which usually fill up with purple martins. I have been landlording for 14 years now with this colony of martins. Nest checks weekly etc and take good care of them. I love beekeeping.I have been reading all I can about beekeeping and am looking forward to my 2nd year. I started with 2 hives but one of them abscounded as soon as queen was released. I want to prevent swarming and split my hive but still keep it strong. I was thinking of letting them make their own queen. Have any of you all heard about successes with purple martin colonies in same yard? I can get local queens too if I have to buy any. A bee inspector is in our area and sells them. I am a member of a local bee club in are part of nw tenn. which he is a member too. They meet once a month but it is very hard for me to attend meetings due to work and family sports etc. But if my queen is doing very good I would like to get her genetics passed on. I plan on maybe doing a Hogan style trap out too. Found 2 trees with bees last summer. Also will try and catch a swarm. I built 5 deep nucs. But, I'm limited on comb since I have only one hive. Just thinking of what I can do when it gets time. Maybe this should be posted in another room? I wish I knew what I know now when I first started. I would like to get up to around 5 hives one day that I can manage. Queen rearing seems very interesting too. I like this site and really enjoy jp's you tube videos! Also some others too on trapouts etc.