I have been working very hard at not working so hard at beekeeping lately. I'm building all kinds of new equipment. It's the lifting and bending and reaching with heavy objects that I'm trying to get away from.
So far I have built tables like large bottom boards that hold up to four hive bodies with the frames running width ways. The bees seem to like this ok, but I'm thinking a trough hive (all one box) would work better for the base so the hive would communicate better.
Also I was going to experiment with some top bars for my comb honey instead of frames.
Also I built some half width deep supers. They hold four deep frames and two side by side make the width of one Lanstroth box. I made them like bookends with the inside side not as deep to allow the bees to move between the two boxes. The bees seem to like this fine and fill them. This allows me to get brood foundation drawn in my honey supers and extract it for later use.
I see the "urban bee condo" is slightly similar to some of what I'm doing.
Acually my first trough hive was about 26 years ago and I built it for an elderly lady who loved bees but couldn't lift a shallow super. I moved shortly after and didn't get to see how well it worked.
One thing I love about the trough hive (and the psuedo one I have with boxes) is I can go straight to the brood nest without moving everything.
One concern I have is how well a trough hive will winter and what my best method of wintering would be.
Has anyone else tried any of these methods of avoiding lifting supers? What have you tried and how did it work?