Re: People, a top bar hive?
I live in a rural area of NY, 50 minutes drive from Albany.
Interestingly, I know of two beekeepers within 90 minutes of me that sell TBHs they make themselves. (they sell their bees as well if you like) One is very cheap and somewhat rustic hive, but works just fine- he has over 300 hives of his own running. The other is rather pricey and 'custom' TBH- oriented towards the well to do organic gardener/dabbler.
I just think it's interesting that there are two choices in my area already for those wanting to buy TBH pre-made. There is also a TBH one year apprentiship course being offered 30 minutes from me. (too rich for my blood though)
If I hadn't have been given an established Lang hive as a gift that got me started in BK, I likely would have started with TBHs. I may get one anyway at some point. I love comb honey, for one thing...and TBHs are visually psychologically less threatening to others in the neighborhood. They look more like planters or cold frames in the back of one's garden.
I think there is a big market developing out there for home garden backyard hives now. there are big 'urban chicken'/'urban beehive' movements going on. I have many friends who never used to mention anything about gardens, chickens, and bees, all talking about such things for their own little 1/2 acre plots now. The movement is spreading quickly.
We put in a big new veggie garden in our backyard that was formerly just lawn. The garden fence guys told us that their normal fence orders were way down but that their new veggie garden fence jobs had quadrupled this past year, keeping their business afloat pretty well.
The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson