The top bar hive(tbh) and trough hive(th) do provide interesting alternatives for those with different purposes or needs that are not addressed by the standard hives available in the US today.
Another alternative is the cabinet type hive used throughout much of Europe. This hive is configured vertically rather than horizontally as in the tbh and th.
The work load is reduced as individual frames can be removed without lifting supers or disturbing the rest of the hive. The back of each super or section is hinged and provides access to the frames.
Much less bending or stooping is needed as most of the frames are at a more comfortable and workable height.
Overwintering could be improved as the bees can migrate vertically following the natural heat flow.
Although these hives have been used for some time throughout Europe, I haven't been able to find any constuction details or designs for these hives. Only a few pictures and references are available in the bee mags.
Anyone have any experience with these hives? I have corresponded with several people who have visited countries that used these hives but construction details aren't available.
I think designing and building a cabinet hive that would use the standard deep frame could be an interesting project and provide a useful alternative hive.
Anyone with ideas or experience?